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TriStar Centennial Medical Center

Diagnosis of Shingles

Shingles is diagnosed by its pain and its specific rash. To confirm that you have shingles, your doctor may scrape some skin from a blister or collect some of its fluid for testing. The tests can detect the presence of the varicella-zoster virus.

These tests include:

  • Microscopic examination
  • Viral culture
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Polymerase chain reaction techniques

It may take three to several weeks to obtain the results of some of these tests.

Revision Information

  • NINDS shingles information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: Updated January 10, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2013.

  • Shingles. The American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: Accessed May 30, 2013.

  • Shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Updated January 10, 2011. Accessed May 30, 2013.

  • Stankus SJ, Dlugopolski M, et al. Management of herpes zoster (shingles) and postherpetic neuralgia. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(8). Available at: Accessed May 30, 2013.

  • Zoster. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 20, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2013.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. TriStar Health does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.