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.