Are There Complications Of Shingles
Shingles can have complications that last long after the rash is gone, including:
- Brain inflammation or facial paralysis if it affects certain nerves
- Eye problems and vision loss if your rash was in or around your eye
- Pain that lasts long after the outbreak, called postherpetic neuralgia. It affects up to 1 in 5 people who get shingles.
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.
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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.
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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.
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Can Shingles Be Harmful During Pregnancy
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
If a pregnant woman develops a varicella rash from five days before to two days after delivery, the newborn will be at risk for neonatal varicella.
Pregnant women who have been exposed to the virus may be given a varicella-zoster immune globulin injection to reduce the risk of complications to both mother and baby.
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Who Should Get The Shingrix Vaccine
The Shringrix vaccine is recommended in healthy adults age 50 and older. There is no maximum age. You should get the vaccine even if:
- Youve had shingles.
- Youre not sure if youd had chickenpox .
- Youve already had the Zostavax vaccine. This vaccine for shingles is no longer available in the U.S. Ask your healthcare provider about the best time to get the Shingrix vaccine.
If you currently have shingles, you need to wait until the shingles rash has gone away. Talk with your provider about the proper time to begin vaccination with Shingrix.
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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.
Are Shingles On Scalp Contagious
Are shingles contagious? This condition is caused by a virus, which is spread through direct contact with fluid from the rash blisters caused by shingles. A person with active shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase. Otherwise, the virus is not contagious before the blister appears.
For you to know how long shingles on scalp is contagious, you should understand the symptoms for each stage of this condition. The skin lesions develop 2 to 3 days after the onset of the attack. The rash develops typically in one line which later forms small to large blisters.
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Can Shingles Cause Bald Patches On The Scalp
Shingles can form a blistering, itchy, painful rash anywhere on the body, but can be particularly excruciating and challenging if it spreads to the scalp. Shingles blisters can leave you with a sensitive scalp and make grooming very difficult. Whats worse, the infection can result in bald patches if you arent careful about how you treat the rash.
What Treatments Are Available For Shingles
While there isnt a cure for shingles, your doctor may prescribe several shingles treatment options to ease your symptoms and speed up recovery. Antiviral medications can be effective if taken within 72 hours of your first symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend taking over-the-counter painkillers to reduce inflammation. They may also prescribe topical creams and gels to soothe the skin and prevent infections.
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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.
Incubation Period And Prodrome
The average incubation period for varicella is 14 to 16 days after exposure to a varicella or a herpes zoster rash, with a range of 10 to 21 days. A mild prodrome of fever and malaise may occur 1 to 2 days before rash onset, particularly in adults. In children, the rash is often the first sign of disease.
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Who Can Get A Free Shingles Vaccination
If you are age 65
Shingles vaccination is free for 12 months once you turn 65. As long as you receive your first dose when you are 65, your second dose will still be free, even if you get it after you turn 66.
If you are under 65
Shingrix is recommended for anyone aged 50 and over.
If you are not 65 years old, however, you will need to pay. The price will vary depending on the provider, but you can expect it to cost between $600 to $800 for both doses.
If you are over 65
You may have already had a shingles vaccine. If you are not sure, talk to your family doctor.
How Long Does Postherpetic Neuralgia Last
Postherpetic neuralgia can last for weeks, months, or in some people, years after the shingles rash goes away. In most people, shingles pain goes away in one to three months. However, in one in five people, pain lasts more than one year.
The pain from PHN can be so severe in some people that it disrupts their life. Researchers dont know why some people have severe or long-lasting pain and others do not.
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How Do We Diagnose Shingles
Early recognition of the virus is often difficult, but as symptoms progress the diagnosis is fairly simple. The presence of pain before the rash, as well as the rash are telltale signs. They say a person may be infected with shingles.
If there is doubt about the diagnosis, take scrapings from a blister. Your doctor or derm can do that. They will examine it under a microscope or take a viral swab test. If your doctor needs to confirm the presence of the disease, remove a piece from a blister to examine under a scope. He can also perform a viral swab test to find the source of the scabs.
Can You Get Shingles On Your Neck And Head
Theres a possibility of getting the area nearby affected with shingles too.
If you get it on your scalp, you can get it on your neck, and even other parts like the torso, waist, chest, or back will erupt with rashes.
But the good thing about this infection is that it only spreads to one side of the body and keeps it there. So if the left side is affected, only the left side will have the rashes.
And shingles on the scalp are significantly trickier to treat and require careful observation and consideration.
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Key Points About Shingles
- Shingles is a common viral infection of the nerves. It causes a painful rash or small blisters on an area of skin.
- Shingles is caused when the chickenpox virus is reactivated.
- It is more common in people with weakened immune systems, and in people over the age of 50.
- Shingles starts with skin sensitivity, tingling, itching, and/or pain followed by rash that looks like small, red spots that turn into blisters.
- The rash is typically affects just one area on one side of the body or face.
- Treatment that is started as soon as possible helps reduce the severity of the disease.
If You Get The Shingles Vaccine Does This Mean Youre 100% Protected From Getting Shingles
No. Just like most vaccines, getting vaccinated with a shingles vaccine doesnt provide 100% protection from disease. However, getting the shingles vaccine reduces your risk of developing shingles.
Even if you do develop shingles, youll be more likely to have a mild case. Also, youll be much less likely to develop postherpetic neuralgia, a painful condition that can follow a shingles outbreak.
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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.
How Is Shingles Diagnosed
Doctors diagnose most cases of shingles based on physical signs and symptoms. The tipoff is the distinctive, band-like rash that most people develop. It is usually accompanied by itching, tingling, or pain in an area of the body served by nerves prone to infection during a prior bout with chickenpox.
In some cases, shingles cannot be diagnosed by signs and symptoms alone, especially in people with weak immune systems whose rash strays from the typical girdle-like pattern, or in individuals who may be experiencing complications from other conditions. Some people show up at their doctors office having pain or other symptoms before a shingles rash appears. And, in rare instances, a person may have shingles with pain and itching but no rash. In each case, additional testing may be required to pinpoint the exact cause.
A doctor may take a scraping of skin cells for examination under a microscope to determine whether the rash is shingles or something else.
A blood sample may be taken to test for varicella zoster virus DNA. High levels may indicate an active infection.
Blood testing can also detect antibodies to the virus and, depending on the levels, may indicate a first-time case of chickenpox or a previous case that has reactivated, becoming shingles.
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What Is Herpes On The Buttocks
Herpes on the butt, medically known as genital herpes, represents a type of viral infection resulted from the herpes simplex virus. This type of infections is categorized depending on the body part infected. For instance, oral herpes will involve the mouth or face. It might lead to groups of small blisters frequently known as fever blister or cold sores, or might only lead to a sore throat.
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Month Two To Three: Lingering Itch
The lasting itch one can experience once the shingles rash clears is called postherpetic itch and it most commonly develops on the face and on skin thats already suffered sensory loss. Translations: Your skin is likely already feeling numb there. And since individuals are more likely to scratch numb skin too long and too vigorously, its important to turn to your healthcare provider for advice. He or she will likely suggest topical local anesthetics to help quell the urge to itch.
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How Can You Prevent Spreading The Virus
You cant give shingles to someone else, but the varicella-zoster virus is very contagious. If you have shingles and you expose someone else who has not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, you can give them the virus. Theyll get chickenpox, not shingles, but this puts them at risk for shingles later on.
Youre contagious when your blisters are oozing, or after they break and before they crust over. Do the following to avoid spreading the virus to others:
- Keep your rash covered, especially when the blisters are active.
- Try not to touch, rub, or scratch your rash.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
Avoid contact with people whove never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, especially:
Causes Of Shingles On Scalp
Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox known as the varicella-zoster virus.
If youre currently suffering from shingles, chances are you recovered from chickenpox earlier, and the virus then remains dormant in the body and revives if triggered somehow.
But therere additional risk factors such as:
- An illness that weakens your immunity
- Undergoing cancer treatment
- Prolonged stress or infection
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How Is Piriformis Syndrome Diagnosed
Your doctor will perform a physical exam. He or she will move the affected leg into several different positions to check your pain level.
If your doctor thinks something other than piriformis syndrome is causing your sciatica, he or she may order additional tests. Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans cant diagnose piriformis syndrome. However, they may show your doctor if something else is pressing on your sciatic nerve.
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Timeline Of Shingles Symptoms
Shingles actually doesnt occur without a prior chickenpox infection. VZV lies dormant in nerve roots after you recover where it can reactivate years later, returning as shingles. But though they share the same viral cause, the two conditions are distinct.
The first sign of shingles is usually a burning or stinging sensation in a band-like formation around the waist, chest, stomach, or back.
You may experience itching or become incredibly sensitive to even the softest touch. The weight of bed sheets on your skin may be uncomfortable. You may also experience fatigue, fever, and headache.
After a few days or even up to a couple of weeks, the telltale shingles rash will appear. This rash consists of fluid-filled blisters that worsen quickly. The blisters may look like chickenpox, but they are clustered together.
The shingles rash can vary in color, depending on your skin tone. On darker skin, the rash may be pink, grayish, dark brown, or even purple. On lighter skin, it will be red.
This is the stage at which VZV can be passed on to someone who has never had or been vaccinated against chickenpox.
Blisters typically scab over within a week to 10 days. Shingles typically takes three to five weeks to progress through all of its stages.
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