Can I Catch Or Spread Shingles
If you have shingles, the varicella-zoster virus can spread to someone else who comes into direct contact with the fluid from your blisters. But if that happens, the person you infect would develop chickenpox, not shingles. That person could later develop shingles. The lesions are considered non-infectious after crusting .
Chapter : Other Hair Loss Causes
The most common type of hair loss occurs in a predicable pattern, and pattern hair loss occurs when the normal cycle of hair growth changes. Usually pattern hair loss starts slowly, and continues to get progressively worse. Progressive pattern hair loss is a common occurrence among men, and less apparent but still quite common among women. While men typically suffer pattern baldness with receding hairlines and bald spots on the crown of the head, women typically experience generalized thinning hair over the entire top of the head. And as we age, the occurrence and degree of hair loss increases.A wide range of factors other than genetics can result in hair loss, and many of these conditions are temporary and can be effectively treated by a dermatologist. Diffuse non-scarring loss is usually androgenetic alopecia in men and women but can include telogen effluvium, and systemic diseases such as thyroid, iron deficiency, dermatomitis. Patchy scarring loss can be due to follimlites , lichen planolaris and discird lupus. Patchy non-scarring alopecia can be due to ringworm, trichotillomania, traction alopecia, and syphilis. Hair loss causes that are not based on genetics are discussed in this chapter, including the following:
Autoimmune disordersPhysical trauma to the scalpHair loss following childbirthHair styling products
How Common Is Shingles
Very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , roughly one out of every three Americans will get shingles at some point .
Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk for shingles. And if you were born before 1980, theres a 99% chance that you had chickenpoxeven if you dont remember having it .
Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, many Americans have received the chickenpox vaccine, which also protects against shingles .
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Shingles Vaccine Reduces Your Risk Of Getting Shingles
While there is no cure for shingles, getting the shingles vaccine can greatly reduce your risk of getting this disease.
Shingles vaccine reduces risk
The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine for healthy adults who are 50 years of age or older.
If you think you may already have shingles, treatment is important. It can reduce your pain and how long the rash lasts.
Find out how dermatologists diagnose and treat this condition at, Shingles: Diagnosis and treatment.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Prevent Shingles: Get vaccinated. Page last reviewed July 23, 2018. Last accessed March 28, 2019.
ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention . Prevent Shingles: Get vaccinated. Page last reviewed July 23, 2018. Last accessed March 28, 2019.
Dooling KL, Guo A, et al. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 67:103-8.
Hearing Loss And Facial Weakness
Complications of herpes zoster oticus and Ramsay Hunt syndrome might include hearing loss and facial weakness. For most people, these are temporary symptoms, but it is possible for the damage to become permanent, especially if shingles is left untreated.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome accounts for up to 12% of facial paralysis. In some cases, it has a worse outcome than Bells palsya condition that causes temporary weakness in the muscles of the face.
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Preventing The Virus Spreading
If you have the shingles rash, do not share towels or flannels, go swimming, or play contact sports. This will help prevent the virus being passed on to someone who has not had chickenpox.
You should also avoid work or school if your rash is weeping and cannot be covered.
Chickenpox can be particularly dangerous for certain groups of people. If you have shingles, avoid:
- women who are pregnant and have not had chickenpox before as they could catch it from you, which may harm their unborn baby
- people who have a weak immune system, such as someone with HIV or AIDS
- babies less than one month old, unless it is your own baby, in which case your baby should have antibodies to protect them from the virus
Once your blisters have dried and scabbed over, you are no longer contagious and will not need to avoid anyone.
Fact: A Vaccine Can Help Prevent It
It doesnât guarantee you wonât get shingles, but a vaccine can lower your chances by more than 90%. And if you do get the condition, it might not affect you as much. The CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 or older, as well as those 19 years and older who are immunocompromised, get two doses of the vaccine Shingrix. The shots are taken 2 to 6 months apart. Exceptions are if you currently have shingles, are pregnant, or a test shows you have immunity. You likely have been exposed to chickenpox even if you didnât develop blisters, so you should get the vaccine even if you don’t remember being ill.
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Managing Shingles On The Scalp
Pay special attention to prevent permanent hair loss.
Herpes zoster, also commonly known as shingles, is a viral infection that occurs when the dormant varicella-zoster virus reactivates in the body after causing an earlier case of chickenpox. Once a person recovers from chickenpox, VZV travels deep into nerve tissues and remains dormant for decades. When it reawakens, it travels back up the same nerve to the skin where it reemerges as shingles.
Any individual that has had chickenpox can develop shingles unless they have been vaccinated against it, which greatly decreases their risk. Approximately 60% of all shingles cases occur in people over the age of 60.
One of the most common symptoms of shingles is a painful and blistering raised rash that erupts most often along one side of the torso, waist, chest, neck, or back. Other sites include around an eye, ear, or scalp.
Shingles on the scalp is particularly tricky to treat because the skin there is very sensitive. Simple pressure from washing or brushing the hair can result in broken and bleeding blisters.
Besides pain, shingles on the scalp can cause headaches and weakness on one side of the face that makes it appear to droop. It can also cause hair loss from combing or scratching, or even permanent baldness from cicatricial alopecia, which destroys the hair follicles that generate hair growth and replaces them with scar tissue.
Stroke And Other Brain Ailments
In addition to shingles’ telltale rash, neurological symptoms develop quickly and can include headaches, vomiting, fever, and confusion. This could be because varicella zoster virus sits on a nerve. “That nerve cell body has an arm that has contact with the skin, but it also has another arm that goes directly to the brain,” explains Dr. Mukerji. “When the virus goes to the brain, it can cause meningitis, encephalitis, or stroke.”
So, while shingles resulting in brain conditions is rare, it can increase your risk for stroke. Case in point: A 2016 review of epidemiological studies published in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases found that during the year after a shingles bout, the risk of stroke increased 59%, and this risk was highest among those under 40.
In addition, shingles can also cause swelling in the brain and seizures, both of which can lead to serious and permanent complications.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Shingles
Shingles causes a painful, blistering rash on your skin. If you get shingles, you may notice the following:
Before the rash appears: For 1 to 2 days before the rash appears, you may have pain, burning, or tingling on an area of skin where the rash will develop. Some people say they felt an electrical sensation on their skin before getting the rash.
Rash appears: A painful, blistering rash appears. It usually appears on one side of your body, often on the torso however, it can appear anywhere on your skin. Some people get more blisters after the rash appears, so it can seem that the rash is spreading.
Rash starts to clear: As the rash clears, the blisters may crack open, bleed, and scab over. For most people, the rash will clear within 2 to 4 weeks.
Although the rash will clear on its own, treatment is important. Taking medication within 3 days of getting the shingles rash can:
Reduce your risk of developing other health problems, such as long-lasting nerve pain, pneumonia, or hearing loss
Shingles rash on the face
If you have a shingles rash on your face, immediately seeing a doctor for treatment could save your eyesight.
Is Shingles Contagious
If you are in contact with someone who has shingles, you will not get the symptoms of shingles yourself. However, direct contact with fluid from a shingles rash can still spread the varicella-zoster virus, which can cause chickenpox in people who have not had chickenpox before or the chickenpox vaccine. The risk of spreading the virus is low if the shingles rash is kept covered.
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Shingles Of The Scalp
I’ve had shingles twice before, and now I have it in my hair. I’m having to wait for a GP appointment to confirm it and, hopefully, get some medication but I’m pretty sure from the symptoms, that it is shingles. I’m worried because all recommendations are that medication needs to be started early or you can have permanent hair loss. Should I make a fuss and insist on an ’emergency’ appointment – even though this isn’t life threatening.
3 likes, 9 replies
I have never heard that it leads to hair loss.
Try getting in to see your dermatologist.
That’s who first diagnosed me. They seem to have a better feel of what you are going through and maybe you could get into one sooner than your GP.
Good luck and God bless!
5 years ago
Thank you for your reply.
I now have a bottle of coal tar shampoo from the practise nurse at my surgery – it smells like sheep dip according to my OH.
Are you in the UK? I ask because I’ve never heard of anyone ‘having’ a dermatologist – only people being referred to one by their GP, which usually takes several months before an appointment is arranged with the NHS.
My smart phone thinks it is so very smart…
The Hair Growth Cycle
There are three phases in the hair follicle growth cycle: anagen , catagen and telogen . Generally speaking, about 90% of hairs are in anagen, with 5% in catagen and 5% in shedding in telogen, says Dr. Khetarpal. Most people shed between 50 and 100 hairs each day.
In telogen effluvium, the proportion of hair follicles in the telogen phase increases significantly, up to 50%, leading to mass shedding. Theres generally a two- to three-month lag between the stressful event and the onset of hair loss.
This is why were seeing these patients now, several weeks after COVID-19 symptoms resolve. Telogen effluvium isnt a symptom of COVID-19 as much as it is a consequence of the infection.
This hair loss can last for up to six to nine months. Generally, most cases resolve on their own, unless its related to medication or a nutritional deficiency.
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Am I At Risk For Shingles
Everyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for developing shingles. Researchers do not fully understand what makes the virus become active and cause shingles. But some things make it more likely:
- Older age. The risk of developing shingles increases as you age. About half of all shingles cases are in adults age 60 or older. The chance of getting shingles becomes much greater by age 70.
- Trouble fighting infections. Your immune system is the part of your body that responds to infections. Age can affect your immune system. So can HIV, cancer, cancer treatments, too much sun, and organ transplant drugs. Even stress or a cold can weaken your immune system for a short time. These all can put you at risk for shingles.
Most people only have shingles one time. However, it is possible to have it more than once.
What Is Hair Replacement Surgery
We offer several hair replacement techniques at UCLA Dermatology, although hair replacement surgery cannot help those who suffer from total baldness. Candidates for hair replacement must have a healthy growth of hair at the back and sides of the head. This hair will serve as hair donor areas where grafts and flaps will be taken.
We offer four primary different types of hair replacement methods:
Possible complications associated with hair transplantation procedures may include the following:
- Patchy hair growth: Sometimes, the growth of newly placed hair has a patchy look, especially if it is placed next to a thinning area. This issue can often be corrected by additional surgery.
- Bleeding or wide scars: Tension on the scalp from some of the scalp reduction techniques can result in wide scars or bleeding.
- Unsuccessful grafts: Occasionally, there is a chance that the graft may not “take.” If this is the case, surgery must be repeated.
- Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is the risk of infection.
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Can Hair Loss Be Prevented Or Avoided
There is no way to prevent male-pattern baldness because it is a genetic trait, meaning you inherited a gene for baldness from your parents.
Some other causes of excessive hair loss can be prevented. For example, you could prevent hair loss by not styling hair too tightly in a way that puts too much pressure on your scalp. You also can talk to your doctor and avoid taking medications that could cause hair loss.
Can Certain Hairstyles Or Treatments Cause Hair Loss
Yes. If you wear pigtails or cornrows or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, your hair will grow back normally. However, scarring can cause permanent hair loss. Hot oil hair treatments or chemicals used in permanents may cause inflammation of the hair follicle. This can result in scarring and hair loss.
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Hereditary Or Androgenetic Hair Loss
“The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary hair loss that progresses with age,” says Dr. Harth. “In this type of hair loss, the male hormones in both men and women cause the hair in some areas of the scalp to be smaller, thinner, and later invisible .”
An estimated 30 million women in the U.S. are affected by androgenetic hair loss, and this particular type of alopecia has a pretty dead giveaway: “Genetic male and female pattern hair loss happens only on the top of the head,” says Gaunitz. In this case, Dihydrotestosterone , a hormone made from testosterone, interacts with the hair follicle receptors to create inflammation, causing the hair to grow thinner as time goes on.
Interestingly, hair loss related to polycystic ovary syndrome and menopause is a type of androgenetic hair loss because these conditions manipulate DHT levels, causing you to lose hair, according to Gaunitz.
S Of The Shingles Rash
If you have a rash of blisters on your skin or a rash that looks like any shown below, see your doctor immediately for a diagnosis. If you have shingles, its important to get treatment, preferably within 2 to 3 days.
If youve had the rash for longer than 2 to 3 days, its still important to see your doctor.
A typical shingles rash
Doctors often refer to this rash as the shingles band because it looks like a band that appears on one area of your body, as shown here.
A rash on one side of the body
A key that you have shingles is that the rash only develops on one side of your body.
Close-up of a shingles rash
The shingles rash often causes a cluster of tiny blisters. You may notice that the skin beneath the blisters is red and inflamed, as shown here.
The rash will also feel painful.
Blistering shingles rash on a man’s chest
Although the rash can begin in one area, you may notice that a few scattered blisters develop in other areas, as shown here.
Shingles rash on the palm of a man’s hand
While shingles tends to develop on your body or face, it can appear anywhere on your skin.
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How Long Does Shingles Last
Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks.
- The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
- Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
- A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
- About one week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
- A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.
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