Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Can You Get Shingles On Your Head

Shingles Or Something Else

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

Small blisters that appear only on the lips or around the mouth may be cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters. They’re not shingles, but are instead caused by the herpes simplex virus. Itchy blisters that appear after hiking, gardening, or spending time outdoors could be a reaction to poison ivy, oak, or sumac. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your rash, see your healthcare provider.

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.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

Usually, shingles develops on just one side of the body or face, and in a small area. The most common place for shingles to occur is in a band around one side of the waistline.

Most people with shingles have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Tingling, itching, or numbness of the skin
  • Chills, fever, headache, or upset stomach

For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze. Its important to talk with your doctor if you notice any shingles symptoms.

If you notice blisters on your face, see your doctor right away because this is an urgent problem. Blisters near or in the eye can cause lasting eye damage and blindness. Hearing loss, a brief paralysis of the face, or, very rarely, inflammation of the brain can also occur.

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Treating Shingles On The Face

Treatment is the same no matter where shingles develop. Treatment will involve taking an antiviral drug to reduce the severity of the outbreak and help it disappear more quickly.

People will see the best results if they take antiviral medication within 72 hours of the rash appearing.

In most cases, a doctor will prescribe the drugs famciclovir and valacyclovir. People with weak immune systems may need to take a different drug, such as acyclovir, instead.

Most research suggests anti-shingles drugs are safe for people who are breast-feeding, but those who are pregnant or breast-feeding should discuss medications with their doctors.

People who develop PHN may also require pain medication. PHN medication may include oral drugs, such as opioids or creams that people can apply directly to the skin.

The typical shingles red rash or blisters occur after pain, itching, and tingling. They are usually limited to one side of the face and body.

Shinglesrash and blisters appear on one side of the face extending to the scalp and ear.

If the rash involves the ear, it can lead to hearing loss, imbalance, and weakness of the facial muscles. Shingles rash on the scalp causes pain while combing or brushing and bald patches. Shingles can occur in the mouth and are usually very painful, causing pain while eating and change in taste.

  • Shingles of the eye and forehead
  • Shingles on the waist and back
  • Shingles on the buttocks

Who Is At Risk Of Shingles On The Scalp

Shingles on the Scalp: Treatment and More

If youve had chickenpox at any point in your life, theres always a chance that youll develop shingles.

The only people who wont develop shingles are those who have never had chickenpox. However, you can still catch chickenpox even when youre an adult. And if you do, it means youll be susceptible to shingles later on.

So, lets look at who is more likely to develop shingles. First of all, shingles isnt hereditary. What this means is youre no more likely to get it if your family members have had it. Its purely down to who you are, and the lifestyle that you lead.

One of the main factors is age. When older, youre more likely to suffer from a shingles attack. In particular, the elderly are the most susceptible age group. Its thought that this has something to do with the immune system. As we age, our immune systems naturally become weaker. A weakened immune system means that the shingles virus finds it easier to become active.

For the same reason, people who are under a lot of stress are more at risk of developing shingles. Stress can put pressure on the immune system, making you more susceptible to all sorts of illnesses. Similarly, youre more likely to get shingles if you already have an illness which affects the immune system.

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Do I Have To Visit A Doctor

Most cases of shingles are manageable from home and clear up by themselves. However, it can be quite a serious condition.

  • You should see a doctor if youre not entirely sure whether its shingles. A doctor will be able to examine your rash and, if necessary, carry out some tests. That way, you can be sure what the problem is, and whether youre getting the right treatment.
  • If your rash is in a vulnerable place such as around the eyes, ears or nose you should see a doctor. Shingles around these areas can develop into more severe conditions. If you see a doctor when the rash first develops, they can administer treatment quickly. This will make it less likely that your shingles will cause complications.
  • If youre with the pain of shingles on the scalp, it also might be a good idea to see a doctor. They might prescribe pain management medication, such as pills or creams. You can take drugs like acetaminophen at home, but you might need something stronger if the pain is particularly bad.

Doctors are also able to recommend antiviral tablets. While this wont make the virus go away immediately, it can reduce the length of the illness. It can also reduce the severity of the blisters and associated pain.

Shingles On Scalp And Neck

Shingle is an infection that causes pain and rash along a band of skin supplied by the affected nerve. This condition affects any of the parts of the body and is common in the neck, face and around eyes. The virus causing shingles leads to swelling on one side of the neck, under the jaw or behind ear.

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Can You Get Shingles On Your Head

Asked by: Prof. Annie Ferry

The rash also may appear on one side of your face or scalp. The painful rash may be in the area of your ear or eye. When shingles occurs on the head or scalp, symptoms can include headaches and weakness of one side of the face, which causes that side of the face to look droopy.

What Problems Can Happen

How to treat shingles

Most cases of shingles heal on their own, with or without treatment, and won’t lead to any other problems. In rare cases, shingles can lead to complications, including:

  • Ongoing pain : Damaged nerve fibers in the skin send confused messages to the brain, leading to pain. Pain can go on for a long time after the shingles rash is gone. This is the most common shingles complication.
  • Vision problems: Shingles near or in an eye can lead to vision loss.
  • Skin infections: A shingles rash can become infected with bacteria, leading to impetigo or cellulitis.
  • Nervous system problems: Shingles on the face can involve different nerves that connect to the brain. This can lead to nerve-related problems such as facial paralysis, hearing problems, and problems with balance. In very rare cases, shingles can lead to encephalitis .

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How Do You Treat Shingles On The Scalp

Scalp Treatment for ShinglesApply cool water and cold compresses to the part of your scalp affected by the shingles rash. Pat calamine or menthol lotion on your head as a soothing scalp treatment. Avoid using harsh soaps or scented shampoos when washing your hair. Try to find a gentle, unscented hair cleanser.

What Causes Internal Shingles

The varicella zoster virus causes shingles. Its the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a bout of chickenpox, the virus becomes dormant in the body and settles in certain nerves and tissue of the nervous system. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and present itself as shingles. Shingles typically appears on the skin along the nerve path where it had been previously dormant. If the reactivation of the virus becomes severe, it can affect not only the skin but other organs too. This is what is called systemic or internal shingles.

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What If I Have Shingles And A Poor Immune System

If you have a poor immune system and develop shingles then see your doctor straightaway. You will normally be given antiviral medication whatever your age and will be monitored for complications. People with a poor immune system include:

  • People taking high-dose steroids. per day for more than one week in the previous three months. Or, children who have taken steroids within the previous three months, equivalent to prednisolone 2 mg/kg per day for at least one week, or 1 mg/kg per day for one month.)
  • People on lower doses of steroids in combination with other immunosuppressant medicines.
  • People taking anti-arthritis medications which can affect the bone marrow.
  • People being treated with chemotherapy or generalised radiotherapy, or who have had these treatments within the previous six months.
  • People who have had an organ transplant and are on immunosuppressive treatment.
  • People who have had a bone marrow transplant and who are still immunosuppressed.
  • People with an impaired immune system.
  • People who are immunosuppressed with HIV infection.

Shingles On Scalp With Swollen Lymph Nodes

Shingles Lesions (Varicella Zoster, Trigeminal/Mandibular)â¦

Swollen lymph nodes is a common symptom in people with shingles on scalp. Lymph nodes also called lymph glands are an important part of the immune system. These nodes are located throughout the body, they are however only visible and palpable when enlarged or swollen.

Lymph node will often swell in one location due to an infection, an injury or a growth of a tumor. Shingle on scalp is a viral infection. As said, lymph nodes are part of the immune system which helps fight infection in the body. These nodes work by carrying lymph fluid, nutrients and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream.

The location the nodes are swollen can help identify the problem.

  • A swelling on side of neck, under the jaw or behind ear will in most cases swell when you have a cold or a sore throat. The virus causing shingles can also be a cause for the swelling.
  • A swelling of the nodes in armpit is often caused by an injury or an infection in the arm or hand
  • Lymph nodes above the collarbone, on the other hand, may be as a result of an infection or growth of a tumor in the areas around the lung, breasts, neck or the abdomen.

Shingles on scalp can lead to complication if improper treatment is not taken. According to the national health services united kingdom, complications of shingles are more likely if you have a weakened immune system, or older than 50-60 years of age.

Apart from the swelling of the lymph nodes, other complications of shingles will include the following:

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How Long Does Shingles On The Scalp Last

Not every case of scalp shingles lasts for the same amount of time. It will depend on your immune health. Even in people with healthy immune systems, shingles can last for weeks.

Lets examine the different stages of shingles, and how long each lasts:

  • The first sign of scalp shingles is not visible. When shingles is about to begin, youll feel tingling, pain, and discomfort in a certain area of your scalp or face. Youll also feel unwell and may have a fever. This stage tends to last between two days and one week.
  • The second stage is the rash. Youll notice small red pimples appear on your head. Theyre usually surrounded by a pink, sore-looking area of skin. The rash will stay in this stage for around three to five days, as blisters start to develop.
  • After this point, the blisters will burst and turn into sores. You might find that the blisters fill with translucent fluid, pus, or even blood. This can be quite painful, and of course unpleasant to deal with. This stage may last for up to a week.
  • Eventually, the blisters will start to scab over. Once all the blisters have scabbed, theyll start to heal. This healing process will last between one and four weeks, on average. Once all the scabs have fallen off, your bout of shingles has ended.
  • So, from start to finish, shingles usually lasts anywhere from two to six weeks.

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    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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    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.

    How Long Does A Shingles Outbreak Last

    Shingles patient

    It can take three to five weeks from the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash totally disappears.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing or shooting. This usually happens before the rash comes.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of your body. The rash usually appears around your waistline or on one side of your face, neck, or on the trunk , but not always. It can occur in other areas including your arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
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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.

    Is Shingles On The Scalp Contagious

    The answer isnt exactly straightforward. Whether or not its contagious depends on who you come into contact with.

    • Fact: Shingles is triggered when the varicella-zoster virus becomes active after an extended period of hibernation. What this means is that you cant directly pass shingles from one person to another, like you would the flu or an STI. If you come into contact with someone when you have shingles, theyre not at risk of catching it from you.

    If you pass the virus on to someone who hasnt been exposed to it, you might give them chickenpox. When the varicella-zoster virus first infects a person, it comes out as chickenpox. Most people develop chickenpox in childhood, so its unlikely that youd give it to an adult. If the person does develop chickenpox from exposure to your virus, they may go on to develop shingles later in life. They wont get it directly from you, though.

    If the person has already had chickenpox before, theyre not usually at risk. This is because their body will have developed antibodies against chickenpox. Although it is technically possible for someone to catch chickenpox a second time, it is very rare.

    Its also worth noting that youre only contagious when your blisters are open and oozing fluid. Once they scab over again, its almost impossible to pass the virus on.

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