How is the preeruptive phase of herpes zoster (shingles) characterized?

Updated: Feb 11, 2021
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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The preeruptive phase is characterized by the following:

  • Sensory phenomena along 1 or more skin dermatomes, lasting 1-10 days (average, 48 hours)

  • Phenomena usually are noted as pain or, less commonly, itching or paresthesias [3]

  • Pain may simulate headache, iritis, pleurisy, brachial neuritis, cardiac pain, appendicitis or other intra-abdominal disease, or sciatica

  • Other symptoms, such as malaise, myalgia, headache, photophobia, and, uncommonly, fever

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