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Can You Get Shingles On Your Legs And Ankles

Who’s At Risk For Shingles

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

Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can get shingles, but the risk increases with age. People older than age 60 are up to 10 times more likely to get shingles than younger people. Other factors that increase your risk include:

  • Some cancer medicines
  • A weak immune system from illnesses such as cancer or HIV

A quarter of adults will develop shingles at some point, and most are otherwise healthy.

What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Shingles

The first symptom of shingles is often burning or tingling pain, or itch, generally in a band-like distribution on one side of the body, i.e., around the waist, chest, stomach, or back. Shingles pain can be mild or intense. Some people have mostly itching some feel severe pain from the gentlest touch, such as the weight of bed linens or clothing. A few people may have general symptoms of a viral infection, like fatigue, fever, and headache.

After several days or up to two weeks after the first symptoms are felt, a rash of fluid-filled blisters appears. These are similar to chickenpox but occur in a cluster rather than scattered over the body. The number of vesicles is variable. Some rashes merge and produce an area that looks like a burn. Other people may have just a few small scattered lesions. The clusters most often appear in a band called a dermatome, which contains nerves that branch out from the virus-affected nerve root exiting the spine. The second most common location is on one side of the face around the eye and on the forehead. However, shingles can involve any part of the body, including internal organs.

Recent studies have shown that subtle cases of shingles with only a few blisters, or none, are more common than previously thought. These cases may remain unrecognized.

Signs Of Shingles Before The Rash Appears

Before the rash appears, early warning signs of shingles, which may be present, include:

  • Itching, burning pain, numbness, tingling in the place where the rash will develop
  • Flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever, headache, feeling fatigued or overly tired

After the initial skin complaints develop into the shingles rash, the condition typically lasts for two to four weeks. The pain typically worsens as the rash develops and alleviates as it heals.

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What Complications Are Associated With Sciatica

Most people recover fully from sciatica. However, chronic pain can be a complication of sciatica. If the pinched nerve is seriously injured, chronic muscle weakness, such as a drop foot, might occur, when numbness in the foot makes normal walking impossible. Sciatica can potentially cause permanent nerve damage, resulting in a loss of feeling in the affected legs. Call your provider right away if you lose feeling in your legs or feet, or have any concerns during your recovery time.

What Is The Outlook/prognosis For Cellulitis What Are Complications Of Cellulitis

Strange rash below earlobe. Could this be Shingles? at The Truth in ...

Cellulitis is a treatable condition, but antibiotic treatment is necessary to eradicate the infection and avoid complications and spread of the infection. Most cellulitis can be effectively treated with oral antibiotics at home. Sometimes hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics are required if oral antibiotics are not effective. is a serious complication of cellulitis. If not properly treated, cellulitis can occasionally spread to the bloodstream and cause a serious bacterial infection of the bloodstream that spreads throughout the body .

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Symptoms Of Shingles On The Legs

Its essential to catch the signs of shingles early so no complications transpire. The most accessible methodology to spot it is by Googling pictures of shingles rash on the legs. The results wont be super appetizing but are an excellent guide.

Other symptoms of shingles on the legs are relentless soreness, blisters, a rash, prickly pringling, high temperature, tiredness, and migraines.

Chickenpox Is Caused By The Same Virus

The same virus, varicella zoster virus, causes both chickenpox and shingles.

Chickenpox typically causes an itchy rash that spreads over the entire body, as opposed to just one side of the body or face like shingles. More than 99 percent of Americans born on or before 1980 have had chickenpox, per the CDC. If you dont know if you had chickenpox, check with your family doctor, who can review your records.

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Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of The Body

The virus travels in specific nerves, so you will often see shingles occur in a band on one side of the body. This band corresponds to the area where the nerve transmits signals. The shingles rash stays somewhat localized to an area it does not spread over your whole body. The torso is a common area, as is the face.

Ringworm Causes An Itchy Red Circular Rash

How to treat shingles

Ringworm is a skin infection that, despite its name, is caused by a fungus, whereas the shingles rash is caused by a virus, according to the CDC. Ringworm can cause a red, itchy, circular rash on your skin. It may also cause scaly, cracked skin and hair loss. The rash can appear on any part of your body, 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. Some forms of ringworm can be treated with over-the-counter medication, while others must be treated with prescription antifungal medication.

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When Is Surgery Considered

Spinal surgery is usually not recommended unless you have not improved with other treatment methods such as stretching and medication, your pain is worsening, you have severe weakness in the muscles in your lower extremities or you have lost bladder or bowel control.

How soon surgery would be considered depends on the cause of your sciatica. Surgery is typically considered within a year of ongoing symptoms. Pain that is severe and unrelenting and is preventing you from standing or working and youve been admitted to a hospital would require more aggressive treatment and a shorter timeline to surgery. Loss of bladder or bowel control could require emergency surgery if determined to be cauda equine syndrome.

The goal of spinal surgery for sciatic pain is to remove the pressure on the nerves that are being pinched and to make sure the spine is stable.

Surgical options to relieve sciatica include:

Microdiscectomy: This is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove fragments of a herniated disk that are pressing on a nerve.

  • Laminectomy: In this procedure, the lamina that is causing pressure on the sciatic nerve is removed.

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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What Is Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis causes you to have extremely painful, swollen joints and can make you feel very tired. It can affect your joints after youve had an infection somewhere else in your body, such as a tummy bug, diarrhoea , or a throat infection.

The most common joints to be affected are the knees and ankles.

Its sometimes called Reiter syndrome and can affect people of any age, including children.

Reactive arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis. Unlike other types of inflammatory arthritis, for many people reactive arthritis lasts a relatively short amount of time – usually around three months to a year.

However, some people find it lasts longer and can have random flare-ups years after they first get it.

The pain, swelling and extreme tiredness of reactive arthritis come after the initial infection. The infection itself may have been so mild you barely noticed it.

It is not yet known exactly why infections trigger reactive arthritis. One theory is that once your immune system has dealt with the infection, fragments of bacteria travel through your bloodstream and collect in the lining of your joints. Your immune system then reacts by causing joint inflammation.

Most people diagnosed with reactive arthritis find they have good days and bad days. It usually clears up within six months without leaving any lasting problems. However, a small number of people do go on to develop another type of arthritis that needs long-term treatment.

How Can I Take Care Of Myself

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  • Take a pain-relief medicine such as acetaminophen. Take other medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Put cool, moist washcloths on the rash.
  • Rest in bed during the early stages if you have fever and other symptoms.
  • Try not to let clothing or bed linens rub against the rash and irritate it.
  • You develop worsening pain or fever.
  • You develop a severe headache, stiff neck, hearing loss, or changes in your ability to think.
  • The blisters show signs of bacterial infection, such as increasing pain or redness, or milky yellow drainage from the blister sites.
  • The blisters are close to the eyes or you have pain in your eyes or trouble seeing.
  • You have trouble walking.

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Are Restless Leg Syndrome Multiple Sclerosis Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Plantar Fasciitis Shingles Or Bursitis Related To Sciatica

While all these conditions affect either the spinal cord, nerves, muscles, ligaments or joints and all can cause pain, none are directly related to sciatica. The main causes of these conditions are different. Sciatica only involves the sciatic nerve. That being said, the most similar condition would be carpal tunnel syndrome, which also involves a compression of a nerve.

A final word about sciatica. . . .

Most cases of sciatica do not require surgery. Time and self-care treatment are usually all thats needed. However, if simple self-care treatments do not relieve your pain, see your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can confirm the cause of your pain, suggest other treatment options and/or refer you to other spine health specialists if needed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2020.

References

Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 As Soon As You Suspect Shingles

You might need medicine to help speed up your recovery and avoid longer-lasting problems.

This works best if taken within 3 days of your symptoms starting.

111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or .

Get an urgent GP appointment

A GP may be able to treat you.

Ask your GP surgery for an urgent appointment.

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Can Infection With Vzv During Pregnancy Harm The Baby

Some infections can be transmitted across the mothers bloodstream to the fetus or can be acquired by the baby during the birth process. Chickenpox during pregnancy poses some risk to the unborn child, depending upon the stage of pregnancy. During the first 30 weeks, maternal chickenpox may, in some cases, lead to congenital malformations . Most experts agree that shingles in a pregnant woman is even less likely to cause harm to the unborn child.

If a pregnant woman gets chickenpox between 21 to 5 days before giving birth, her newborn can have chickenpox at birth or develop it within a few days. But the time lapse between the start of the mothers illness and the birth of the baby generally allows the mothers immune system to react and produce antibodies to fight the virus. These antibodies can be transmitted to the unborn child and thus help fight the infection. Still, a small percent of the babies exposed to chickenpox in the 21 to 5 days before birth develop shingles in the first 5 years of life because the newborns immune system is not yet fully functional and capable of keeping the virus latent.

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How Is Shingles Treated

How to tell if a rash needs medical attention

Currently there is no cure for shingles, but attacks can be made less severe and shorter by using prescription antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famcyclovir as soon as possible after symptoms begin. Early treatment can reduce or prevent severe pain and help blisters dry faster. Antiviral drugs can reduce by about half the risk of being left with postherpetic neuralgia, which is chronic pain that can last for months or years after the shingles rash clears. Doctors recommend starting antiviral drugs at the first sign of the shingles rash, or if the telltale symptoms indicate that a rash is about to erupt. Other treatments to consider are anti-inflammatory corticosteroids such as prednisone. These are routinely used when the eye or other facial nerves are affected.

Most people with shingles can be treated at home.

People with shingles should also try to relax and reduce stress eat regular, well-balanced meals and perform gentle exercises, such as walking or stretching to keep active and stop thinking about the pain . Placing a cool, damp washcloth on the blistersbut not when wearing a topical cream or patchcan help blisters dry faster and relieve pain. Keeping the area clean can help avoid a secondary bacterial infection.

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When Should I Contact My Healthcare Provider

Get immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Severe leg pain lasting more than a few hours that is unbearable.
  • Numbness or muscle weakness in the same leg.
  • Bowel or bladder control loss. This could be due to a condition called cauda equina syndrome, which affects bundles of nerves at the end of the spinal cord.
  • Sudden and severe pain from a traffic accident or some other trauma.

Even if your visit doesnt turn out to be an emergency situation, its best to get it checked out.

Antiviral Medicines For Shingles

Antiviral medicines used to treat shingles include aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. An antiviral medicine does not kill the virus but works by stopping the virus from multiplying. So, it may limit the severity of symptoms of the shingles episode.

An antiviral medicine is most useful when started in the early stages of shingles . However, in some cases your doctor may still advise you have an antiviral medicine even if the rash is more than 72 hours old particularly in elderly people with severe shingles, or if shingles affects an eye.

Antiviral medicines are not advised routinely for everybody with shingles. As a general rule, the following groups of people who develop shingles will normally be advised to take an antiviral medicine:

  • If you are over the age of 50. The older you are, the more risk there is of severe shingles or complications developing and the more likely you are to benefit from treatment.
  • If you are of any age and have any of the following:
  • Shingles that affects the eye or ear.
  • A poorly functioning immune system .
  • Shingles that affects any parts of the body apart from the trunk .
  • Moderate or severe pain.

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Whos At Risk For Shingles

Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can get shingles, but the risk increases with age. People older than age 60 are up to 10 times more likely to get shingles than younger people. Other factors that increase your risk include:

  • Some cancer medicines
  • A weak immune system from illnesses such as cancer or HIV

A quarter of adults will develop shingles at some point, and most are otherwise healthy.

If I Have Disseminated Zoster/shingles What Can I Expect For My Hospital Stay

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It is important to note that most people with shingles do not need to be in a hospital, but if you do:

  • You will be in an airborne-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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Seek Medical Treatment Early:

Carter emphasizes the importance of seeking medical treatment early to shorten the duration of the outbreak and minimize long-term side effects. Several medications are available to treat shingles. He says he often prescribes the antiviral medication known as Valtrex.

I like to give it within 48 hours of illness onset, he says. Acyclovir, another antiviral medication, is a generic alternative to the brand name Valtrex.

The shingles rash can last for two to four weeks. For most people the pain lessens as the rash heals however, one out of five patients will experience severe residual pain that can last for months, even years. This pain, known as post-herpetic neuralgia , is caused by damage done to the nerves from the virus.

People can be surprised by the possibility of postherpetic neuralgia, says Carter. For most patients this is an academic issue because the vast majority will not suffer from this complication. Patients over the age of 50 are more likely to suffer from this complication.

When they do, Carter has used a three-week course of systemic steroids for select patients. Steroids, in some investigations, have been shown to reduce the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia, he adds. Of course, three weeks of steroids have their own set of consequences, and these side effects need to be considered.

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