When Should People Seek Medical Care For Leg Pain
People often decide to seek care after an injury based upon their ability to stand, bear weight, and walk. This is often reasonable however, if there is concern that a bone is broken or there is significant swelling to a joint, one should seek medical care in an urgent manner. A swollen joint is never normal. One important reminder: Just because the leg can move does not mean that it is not injured.
In most other situations, leg pain has a gradual onset and patients seek medical attention when the pain begins to interfere with their daily lives. Often, leg pain is a part of a larger collection of symptoms and is not evaluated independently.
However, when leg pain begins suddenly, it should be a cause for concern and one should seek medical care urgently. This is especially the case if the leg is warm and swollen and deep venous thrombosis is of concern, or if the leg is pale and cool and an arterial clot is a consideration.
If back and leg pain occurs with episodes of increased muscle weakness, falling, or changes in bowel or bladder function, this may signal an emergency involving the spinal cord called cauda equina. Access medical care immediately.
Children who develop leg pain and begin to limp or who develop a fever and a limp should be seen immediately for evaluation.
General Measures To Alleviate Shingles Symptoms
Loose-fitting cotton clothes are best to reduce irritating the affected area of skin. Pain may be eased by cooling the affected area with ice cubes , wet dressings, or a cool bath. A non-adherent dressing that covers the rash when it is blistered and raw may help to reduce pain caused by contact with clothing. Simple creams may be helpful if the rash is itchy. Calamine lotion can help to cool the skin and reduce mild itchiness.
If You Have More Than One Area Of Blisters What Can You Expect If You Go To The Hospital
Its important to note that most people with shingles dont need to be in a hospital, but if you do:
- Youll be in a contact isolation room.
- The door will be kept closed.
- A sign on your door will remind people who have never had chickenpox or the vaccine not to enter.
- The sign will also remind staff to wear gowns and gloves when entering the room.
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Why Would Shingles Only Develop On Your Legs
A shingles rash typically appears in a small, localized body area and might develop only on the legs, according to WebMD. The rash usually is limited to one side of the body in a band, strip or patch, but multiple patches sometimes occur.
Shingles occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates, often due to stress, illness, injury or age, explains WebMD. The first symptoms include a headache, sensitivity to light and flu-like symptoms. A tingling sensation, mild pain or numbness then develops on the skin in a localized area of the body. The chest and back are the most common areas for shingles to occur, but the head, stomach, face, arm and leg are all possible sites for the rash.
Some patients develop a stomach ache and diarrhea, or swollen lymph nodes before or as the rash occurs, states WebMD. The rash starts with the eruption of small blisters filled with clear fluid. The rash feels more painful than itchy. Some patients describe it as a pins and needles feeling. After five days the blisters start to crust over and heal. The total duration is two to four weeks. A shingles rash in the eye area requires medical care to avoid possible complications.
When To Call A Professional
If you suspect shingles, you should call a healthcare professional promptly. Getting started on antiviral medications soon can help reduce your chances of shingles complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia nerve pain that lingers long after the rash clears up.
ishonestNo.241 Stretch Marks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 10 to 18 percent of people with shingles go on to experience PHN.
If shingles causes an outbreak near your eye, you should get treatment right away. If the infection reaches your eyeball, it can cause scarring and possibly vision loss.
Other rare complications include:
- hearing problems
Even if youre not sure your rash or blisters are shingles, get checked out. If its a fungal infection, for example, you may get a diagnosis and prescription for medication to treat it.
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What Specialists Treat Shingles
Primary care physicians, including internal medicine specialists, family medicine specialists and/or specialists in infectious diseases, can appropriately treat some patients. An emergency medicine physician may start the initial care. However, if there is a chance the eye may be involved, an ophthalmologist should be consulted. If a person is pregnant and gets shingles, they should consult with their ob-gyn physician immediately. For long-term or chronic pain involved in postherpetic neuralgia, a neurologist and/or pain specialists may be involved in the care of the patient.
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How Long Do Shingles Scabs Take To Heal
Shingles scabs will take about 2 to 4 weeks to heal. The exact time frame will be different for each person. It depends on several factors, including the severity of your rash and how soon you get treatment.
However, even after the scabs have cleared up, the pain and discomfort can last for several weeks or months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about
Its important to contact a doctor within 72 hours of developing a shingles rash. The sooner you can get a proper diagnosis, the sooner you can start treatment for shingles.
Early treatment can help shorten the length of your infection and reduce the risk of possible complications.
You should also contact a doctor if you experience any of the following:
- blisters or scabs that wont heal
- signs of a skin infection, like pus or swelling
- worsening or ongoing pain after the scabs heal
- persisting fatigue or fever after the rash heals
- new blisters or scabs
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Who Should Not Be Vaccinated With Shingrix
You shouldnt receive the Shingrix vaccine if you:
- Have ever had a severe allergy to this vaccine or any ingredient in this vaccine.
- Are breastfeeding or pregnant.
- Currently have shingles.
- Are ill and have a high fever.
- Have tested negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus .
Ask your healthcare provider if the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh any potential risks.
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.
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What Should You Expect If You Get Shingles
Shingles can be a very painful condition. If you think you have the symptoms of shingles, see your healthcare provider right away. Starting antiviral medications early can ease your discomfort and end symptoms earlier.
A better approach to shingles is to take action and do what you can to lessen your risk of getting it. If you’ve never had shingles in the past, talk to your healthcare provider about getting the shingles vaccine. If youve never had chickenpox, talk with your healthcare provider about getting the chickenpox vaccine.
How Long Does Shingles Last
Shingles blisters usually scab over in 7-10 days and disappear completely in two to four weeks. In most healthy people, the blisters leave no scars, and the pain and itching go away after a few weeks or months. But people with weakened immune systems may develop shingles blisters that do not heal in a timely manner.
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How To Manage Or Live With The Condition
You cant do much to prevent lichen planus, but once you have it, you can take steps to keep it from getting worse.
Avoid injuries to your skin.
Apply cool compresses instead of scratching.
Limit the stress in your life.
For oral lichen planus, stop smoking, avoid alcohol, maintain good oral hygiene, and avoid any foods that seem to irritate your mouth.
Lichen planus is not a dangerous disease, and it usually goes away on its own. However, in some people, it may come back.
Hives Caused By Infection
Heather L. Brannon, MD
Hives are considered to be idiopathic, meaning that an outbreak can happen spontaneously and the cause isnt always known. If a cause can be found, the most common cause is an infection. This photo is an example of hives caused by a viral infection.
Other possible causes include an allergic reaction, stress, exercise, sun exposure, pressure on the skin, scratching, and chemical exposure.
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Can One Get Shingles In The Leg
There are many misconceptions about shingles, and for those who have never had it, it can be hard to understand the symptoms. One common misconception is that one only gets shingles on the torso or the face. This is not true! One can get shingles anywhere on their body, including in their legs. The pain may be different but no less intense than someone elses would be if they got shingles on their torso or face.
Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that is dormant in the nervous system. Therefore, the rash appears in a dermatomal pattern most of the time, which means that the rashes will appear and spread on a particular area of skin supplied by the same spinal nerve. If the relevant nerves are affected, it is also possible to experience shingles on the leg. Although It is relatively unusual, the shingles rash may develop in more than one area of the body as the virus may affect more than one set of nerves. When three or more dermatomes are affected, the rash can develop over multiple areas of the body, and this is known as the disseminated zoster. Fortunately, this is known to be extremely rare, although it should be noted that people with a weaker immune system are at a higher risk of developing such a condition.
While shingles on the leg may be mistaken for other skin conditions, including hives, psoriasis, or eczema, the characteristics of a rash will prove helpful in providing the correct diagnosis:
What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles
Early symptoms of shingles may include:
Other signs and symptoms that appear a few days after the early symptoms include:
- An itching, tingling or burning feeling in an area of your skin.
- Redness on your skin in the affected area.
- Raised rash in a small area of your skin.
- Fluid-filled blisters that break open then scab over.
- Mild to severe pain in the area of skin affected.
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Things To Know About The Shingles Virus
Intense pain, burning, tingling and a blistering rash these are some of the common symptoms of shingles.
If youve ever had chicken pox, the varicella-zoster virus that causes shingles is dormant in your nerve tissue.
So what causes shingles to spring to life wreaking havoc on your body and what can you do about it? Here are seven things you should know about the shingles virus.
1. Shingles is chicken pox coming back to get you
2. A common cold could trigger shingles
3. You can get shingles more than once
4. You cant give someone shingles
5. Vaccination can prevent shingles
6. Treatment options vary
7. Its rare but shingles can cause blindness
Randell Wexler is an associate professor of family medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
The First Symptoms Of Shingles
Early symptoms of shingles can appear several days before the more obvious symptoms. However, some people will not have early symptoms before a rash appears.
The most common early symptoms occur on one part of the body or face. This often happens in the abdominal area.
These symptoms many include:
The pain can worsen as shingles develops. The pain can be sharp, stabbing, and intense.
It may also cause hypersensitivity, or an excessive reaction to touch.
There are also other early symptoms of shingles.
Although not every person with shingles will experience them, early symptoms include:
- general feeling of being unwell
Your doctor can often diagnose shingles based on these symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medication to speed up recovery.
Medication also reduces the chance of complications, so seeking early intervention is important.
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Can You Still Develop Shingles If Youve Been Vaccinated For Chickenpox
Yes. Despite being vaccinated for chickenpox, you can still get shingles. No vaccine is 100% protective, and the effectiveness of vaccines lessens with time. However, people who get the chickenpox vaccine are significantly less likely to develop shingles later in life compared with people who never received the chickenpox vaccine. One recent 12-year study found that the number of shingles cases was 72% lower in children who had received the chickenpox vaccine compared with those who didnt.
Eczema Can Cause Red Itchy Skin With Bumps
Like shingles, a skin allergy can also cause red, bumpy, itchy skin, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . These reactions include eczema, hives, and contact dermatitis. Eczema can cause dry, red, itchy, irritated skin, per the ACAAI. Small, oozing, fluid-filled bumps may also appear, especially when the skin is infected. Eczema is most common on the face, inside the elbows and behind the knees, and on the hands and feet, per MedlinePlus. There is no cure for eczema, but treatments can help manage the condition.
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Which Groups To Avoid If You Have Shingles
Pregnant women who have not had chickenpox should avoid people with shingles. See the separate leaflet called Chickenpox Contact in Pregnancy for more details. Also, if you have a poor immune system , you should avoid people with shingles. These general rules are to be on the safe side, as it is direct contact with the rash that usually passes on the virus.
Ringworm Or Shingles Virus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity
Ringworm is an infectious skin disease that, despite its name, is caused by a fungus, whereas the shingles rash is caused by a virus. Ringworm infection causes red, itchy, scaly patches on your skin, often in several places at once. Sometimes the patches blister and ooze, much like the shingles rash. Ringworm is most common in children, and it spreads easily through skin-to-skin contact or contact with an item contaminated with the fungus, like dirty clothes or a shower floor.
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What Is The Treatment For Shingles
Momentarily, the remedies are limited and far between. Customarily, keeping the skin void of moisture, lack of tight clothing, and topical cremes. Antiviral drugs, like Zovirax and Valtrex , can often aid in recovery.
The treatment for shingles leg pain is usually just analgesics like paracetamol and ibuprofen. With more severe pain and PHN, intenser analgesic meds can be prescribed and even corticosteroids and antidepressants.
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Treatment can vary though, depending on each case. Some individuals are more likely to get shingles and are prone to more complications, especially people with suppressed immune systems. These can include cancer, lupus, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome patients.
Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of Your Body
The virus travels in specific nerves, so you will often see shingles occur in a band on one side of your body. This band corresponds to the area where the nerve transmits signals. The shingles rash stays somewhat localized to an area. It doesnt spread over your whole body. Your torso is a common area, as is your face.
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The Shingles Rash Usually Occurs On One Side Of The Body Or Face Most Commonly On The Trunk
Its easy to mistake a shingles rash for another health condition that affects the skin. The shingles virus typically causes a painful rash and blisters, which can resemble many other skin conditions psoriasis, eczema, and hives among them. However, there are a few signs that your rash is more likely to be shingles than something else.
To get shingles, you must have had chickenpox. Shingles, or herpes zoster, occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates after lying dormant in the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 out of 3 people in the United States will get shingles in their lifetime. While your risk of getting shingles increases as you age, anyone can get it if they had chickenpox, notes the CDC.
About half of all shingles cases occur in adults age 60 or older, and the risk of getting shingles becomes much greater by age 70, according to the National Institute on Aging.