Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Early Signs Of Shingles On Stomach

The First Symptoms Of Shingles

The 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.

Diagnosis Of Shingles & Serious Complications

Shingles must be diagnosed by a medical professional. Your doctor should ask for your medical history and the symptoms you have been experiencing recently. The giveaway for shingles includes pain and itching on one side of the body and fluid-filled blisters or rashes. The majority of the time, your doctor can diagnose you through a visual examination.

Your doctor may also take a skin sample to analyze in a laboratory and confirm shingles. When visiting your doctor with a suspected case of shingles it is helpful to know your medical history, specifically if you have ever received the chickenpox vaccine. This will be helpful for your doctor to diagnose you and begin treatment.

It is crucial to seek medical care right away if you suspect shingles. Although shingles usually clear up with treatment within 3 to 5 weeks, they can cause some more serious complications and health conditions. Specifically, if shingles symptoms develop in or around the eye it can lead to eye damage or blindness.

The most common complication associated with shingles is postherpetic neuralgia . PHN is defined by the National Health Service as âa lasting pain in the areas of your skin where you had shingles.â Approximately 10 to 18 percent of people who have shingles will experience PHN, with a higher likelihood being those older than 40 years. The CDC lists these as rare complications sometimes associated with shingles:

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.

Read Also: Where Do You Get The Shingles Vaccine

How Is It Treated

It is best to start treatment as soon as possible after you notice the rash. See your healthcare provider to discuss treatment with antiviral medicine, such as acyclovir. This medicine is most effective if you start taking it within the first 3 days of the rash. Antiviral medicine may speed your recovery and lessen the chance that the pain will last for a long time.

Your provider may also recommend or prescribe:

  • medicine for pain
  • antibacterial salves or lotions to help prevent bacterial infection of the blisters
  • corticosteroids

How Does It Occur

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If you have had chickenpox, you are at risk for later developing shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays in your body. It moves to the roots of your nerve cells and becomes inactive . Later, if the virus becomes active again, shingles is the name given to the symptoms it causes.

What exactly causes the virus to become active is not known. A weakened immune system seems to allow reactivation of the virus. This may occur with normal aging, immune-suppressing medicines, or another illness, or after major surgery. It can also happen as a complication of cancer or AIDS or treatment of these illnesses. Chronic use of steroid drugs may trigger shingles. The virus may also become active again after the skin is injured or sunburned. Emotional stress seems to be a common trigger as well.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Shingles

In the United States, 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime, and there are about 1 million cases a year in the country. Older adults who had chickenpox but do not have the shingles vaccine can often have a higher risk of reactivating the varicella-zoster virus and getting shingles.

Other factors that increase your risk include:

  • conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV, cancer, chemotherapy, or an organ transplant
  • weakened or impaired immune system, which also increases the risk for having recurring episodes of shingles

The risk of shingles is usually 10 times greater in adults who are more than 60 years old than in children younger than 10. Much of the increase in shingles risk occurs at around 50 years old.

A Guide To Recognizing The Early Signs Of Shingles

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a disease that occurs due to the reappearance of the varicella-zoster virus, which is the causative agent of chickenpox. Shingles usually starts with a skin rash. These skin rashes occur either in the form of a band or a strip covering a small area on your body. The rashes often last for 2-4 weeks. You might even experience itching and burning sensations.

If you start experiencing similar symptoms, it is time for you to consult your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment of your current condition.

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Outlook For Armpit Pain

Armpit pain thats related to a muscle strain might be able to heal on its own after resting your muscles for a few days. If you have other symptoms, like swelling or the presence of a lump, you should see your doctor.

Doctors may refer you to a hematologist who specializes in lymph node disorders or a breast cancer specialist if cancer is suspected.

If you see a rash or other signs of skin problems under your arm, talk with a doctor about treatment or for a possible referral to a dermatologist.

If you suspect a lymph node disorder and have symptoms like fever or congestion, you may have a respiratory infection related to your lymph nodes.

In most cases, early treatment of any condition will lead to better outcomes. If the pain is a temporary muscle-related problem, getting a diagnosis can ease some anxiety too.

If you have armpit pain that lasts for more than a few days or there are other symptoms, like swelling or a rash, see a doctor right away.

How To Prevent The Shingles Virus From Spreading

Shingles: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, 3 stages of Infection, Complications, Management, Animation.

Shingles prevention depends on whether the patient is immunocompetent or immunocompromised . Prevention also depends on whether the rashes are localized or disseminated. Localized and immunocompetent cases are the only cases in which the virus does not get transmitted through the air. In all other cases, prevention mechanisms must be followed until the blisters get flaky and start falling off. The basic prevention includes:

  • Keeping the rash covered as much as possible because certain types of shingles are airborne. Make sure that you wear adequate clothing so that it can completely cover the blisters. Ensure that no one comes into contact with the blisters as they are highly infectious until they flake off.
  • Avoiding touching or scratching the rash, as it could cause the fluid in the blisters to leak, which is the main reason for most virus outbreak. You can consult your doctor for medication to alleviate the itching sensation and avoid scratching the blisters at all cost.
  • Washing your hands often to prevent the spread of the virus, since it usually spreads through direct contact. If you have been diagnosed with shingles, always make sure that you maintain a healthy distance from everyone. And if you have touched the blisters with your fingers, use a disinfectant soap or a hand sanitizer to sanitize your hands completely before touching any object or person.

Until your rash has developed crusts, avoid contact with:

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What Are The Early Symptoms Of Shingles

Shingles are characterized by painful rashes or blisters caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus in your body. You can only contract shingles if you have had chickenpox, usually occurring in childhood. The virus that causes shingles is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Treatment includes antivirals and pain-reducing measures, but the best form of prevention is vaccination.

What Are The Complications Of Shingles

Symptoms of shingles usually dont last longer than 3 to 5 weeks. However, complications can happen. The main complications that can result from shingles include:

  • Postherpetic neuralgia . The most common complication of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia . This continuous, chronic pain lasts even after the skin lesions have healed. The pain may be severe in the area where the blisters were present. The affected skin may be very sensitive to heat and cold. If you had severe pain during the active rash or have impaired senses, you are at increased risk for PHN. The elderly are also at greater risk. Early treatment of shingles may prevent PHN. Pain relievers and steroid treatment may be used to treat the pain and inflammation. Other treatments include antiviral drugs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents.
  • Bacterial infection. A bacterial infection of the skin where the rash happens is another complication. Rarely, infections can lead to more problems, such as tissue death and scarring. When an infection happens near or on the eyes, a corneal infection can happen. This can lead to temporary or permanent blindness.

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Can Shingles Be Prevented

There are 2 vaccines available to reduce the likelihood of developing shingles, Zostavax and Shingrix. If you are over 50, you can talk to your doctor about whether you need it. It is recommended for everyone over 60 and is given free of charge in Australia to people aged 70 to 79.

Vaccination will not guarantee that you will not get shingles, but it will reduce your chance of developing the condition. The vaccine used to protect against shingles is not the same as the vaccine used to protect against chickenpox. Read more about the chickenpox vaccine here.

How Is Internal Shingles Treated

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Even though shingles is a virus, this is a case where there are antiviral medications available by prescription. Thats why its important to see your doctor right away if you suspect you have shingles. Early treatment may reduce the risk of complications, like PHN. Serious complications require hospitalization.

Common antiviral medications for shingles include:

Depending on the location and severity of the shingles infection, steroids may also help. Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and pain-relieving medication such as acetaminophen or other prescription pain medication can help in easing pain experienced from shingles.

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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.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles Without A Rash

The symptoms of ZSH are similar to the symptoms of shingles, but without a rash. The symptoms are usually isolated to one side of the body and commonly occur on the face and neck, and in the eyes. Symptoms can also occur in the internal organs. Typical symptoms include:

Shingles isnt contagious. You cant give someone else shingles. If you have shingles and are in contact with someone who hasnt had chickenpox or wasnt vaccinated for chickenpox, you can give that person chickenpox. That person would have to come in direct contact with your shingles rash.

If you have shingles without a rash, you shouldnt be able to pass it to others. Still, its a good idea to avoid contact with people who havent had chickenpox as well as pregnant women until your other symptoms have cleared up.

You can only get shingles if youve had chickenpox in the past. Youre at an increased risk for shingles if you:

  • are over age 50

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Active Phase Of Shingles

The active phase of shingles begins with the appearance of a rash. The shingles rash is red, inflamed, and turns into fluid-filled pustules. The rash usually appears on one side of the body in a band.

The torso is the most common area affected by the shingles rash. It can take 1421 days for the rash to crust over and no longer be contagious. Other symptoms that occur during the active phase include:

  • Acute neuritis : Burning, throbbing, and stabbing pain at the infection site.
  • Postherpetic neuralgia : When nerve pain persists for 90 days after the onset of the rash, it is called PHN. Other symptoms of PHN are numbness, itching, and sensitivity to touch. About 10%15% of people with shingles will develop PHN.
  • Cellulitis : Immunosuppressed people and the elderly are at risk of developing skin infections from bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes.
  • Vision deficit or blindness: If the virus involves the ophthalmic division of the fifth cranial nerve or the cornea, it can cause blindness.
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome: Also known as herpes zoster oticus, can cause facial paralysis, ear pain, blisters in the ear, hearing abnormalities, altered taste, and tongue lesions.

Am I At Risk For Shingles

What are the symptoms of 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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How To Prevent Shingles: Get Vaccinated

Two vaccines may help prevent the shingles virus: the chickenpox vaccine and the shingles vaccine. The shingles vaccine is approved for adults ages 50 and older and for those 18 and older with weakened immune systems or at increased risk of herpes zoster because of a disease or treatment, according to the CDC.

Per the CDC, talk to your doctor about getting a shingles vaccination if you are 50 or older or if you have the following risk factors:

  • You have cancer, especially leukemia or lymphoma.
  • You are a bone marrow or solid organ transplant recipient.
  • You take immunosuppressive medications, including steroids, chemotherapy, or transplant-related medications.

Where Does Shingles Come From

When you have chickenpox as a child, your body fights off the varicella-zoster virus and the physical signs of chickenpox fade away, but the virus always remains in your body. In adulthood, sometimes the virus becomes active again. This time, the varicella-zoster virus makes its second appearance in the form of shingles.

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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.

Early Signs Of Shingles: Symptoms And Treatment Of The Chickenpox

Do You Need To See A Doctor For Shingles

Think that youve escaped chickenpox after getting the virus just once as a kid? Brace yourself: shingles could be coming.

Shingles is caused by the same pathogen responsible for chickenpox, varicella zoster virus , a cousin of the viruses responsible for both types of herpes. Medical Daily reported that the virus hides away in our nerve cells for years and can emerge years later as shingles for only broadly understood reasons such as a weakened immune system.

Do you know the early symptoms of shingles?Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Its important to know the early signs of shingles, especially now that winter is coming. It can be a painful condition with severe complications.

Healthline reported that an estimated half of all shingles cases occur in people aged 60 years and older. People with HIV, those undergoing cancer treatments, organ transplant recipients, and anyone experiencing a lot of stress are also more prone to developing shingles.

Pain around the abdominal area is usually the first symptom of shingles, according to Mayo Clinic. Some people experience this without ever developing the infamous rash. The virus can cause numbness, itching, tingling, and burning pain in this area, which can worsen as it develops.

The shingles rash will eventually form itchy, blister-like sores filled with a clear fluid, according to Healthline . The blisters will gradually grow smaller before disappearing and scabbing over in about seven to 10 days.

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