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How Do You Develop Shingles

What Are The Health Complications

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

The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia . PHN causes severe pain even after the shingles rash clears.

People aged 60 years and older who dont seek treatment for shingles are more likely to develop PHN.

Shingles can also cause serious sight problems if it infects the structures of the eye.

Other rare complications include:

Stages Of Chickenpox And Shingles

The progress of each disease can be marked through stages. Some stages will last longer for some, depending on your age, immune system, and other factors.

Stages of chickenpox

The main stages in chickenpox are:

  • Exposure to the virus: It takes 10 to 21 days after exposure for symptoms to start.
  • Initial symptoms: Feeling unwell, body aches, fever, and headache are usually the first symptoms to set in.
  • Small red bumps on the body: These usually develop on the torso or face first, eventually covering the body.
  • Bumps develop into blisters: The itchy lesions will fill with fluid and become blisters.
  • Blisters scab over and heal: After all your blisters scab over, youre no longer contagious.
  • Stages of shingles

  • Feeling unwell: You might develop fever, headaches, or body aches before developing the rash.
  • Tingling pain: Its common to feel tingles, pain, or itchiness in the area the rash will develop.
  • Burning rash: Anywhere from 1 to 5 days after the tingling started, the rash will start to develop.
  • Blisters: The rash will start to blister and then crust over.
  • You may still feel mild or extreme pain after the rash is gone, due to a condition called post-herpetic neuralgia . You can develop shingles more than once, but it is rare.

    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

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    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.

    How Is Shingles Spread

    Can You Get Shingles More Than Once?

    A person must have already had chickenpox in the past to develop shingles. A person cannot get shingles from a person that has shingles. However, the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles can be spread from a person with active shingles to a person who has never had chickenpox or had the chickenpox vaccine. The person exposed to the virus would develop chickenpox, not shingles. A person with shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase. The blister fluid is filled with virus particles. The virus is spread through direct contact with the rash or through breathing in virus particles that get mixed in the air. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer contagious. A person is not infectious before blisters appear or if pain persists after the rash is gone .

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    For Children: Chickenpox Vaccine

    recommend routine immunization with the varicella vaccine during childhood.

    With two doses of the vaccine, there is at least a 90% chance of preventing chickenpox. Preventing chickenpox will also prevent shingles.

    Children should receive the first dose at . The second dose is at 46 years.

    Tests have shown the vaccine to be safe, though some children may experience:

    • pain at the injection site
    • a fever and a mild rash
    • temporary joint pain and stiffness

    Since vaccination started in children, the number of shingles cases has

    Early Symptoms Of Shingles

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    What is shingles?

    The same virus that causes chickenpox causes shingles. Its called the varicella zoster virus .

    VZV stays dormant in your body even after you recover from chickenpox. The chickenpox virus can reactivate years or even decades later, but its not understood why.

    When this happens, a person will develop shingles. Recognizing the early symptoms is important because it can be a painful condition with severe complications.

    state that almost 1 in 3 people in the US will develop shingles in their lifetime. But some people are more likely to develop shingles than others.

    It is that half of all cases of shingles occur in people aged 60 years and older.

    Other groups prone to developing shingles include:

    • people who have had organ transplants
    • people experiencing a lot of stress

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    Other Health Problems Due To Shingles

    Some people develop other health problems after the shingles rash clears, which include:

    Postherpetic neuralgia : This is the most common. Occurring where you had the rash, PHN can cause constant tingling, burning, and pain. For others, the pain comes and goes.

    Whether the pain is constant or intermittent, it can go on for a long time. You can have PHN for months, years, or the rest of your life. There is no way to know how long it will last.

    The pain caused by PHN can become so severe that it interferes with your life, making everyday activities painful. A musician may no longer be able to play an instrument. Some people cannot walk comfortably. It may be difficult to bathe or get dressed. You may have trouble sleeping.

    How to prevent PHN: If you have shingles, you can greatly reduce your risk of PHN by getting treated for shingles within 3 days of developing the rash.

    Get treated for shingles within 3 days of developing the rash

    Taking antiviral medication within 3 days of getting the shingles rash can: Reduce your risk of developing PHN Ease symptoms of shingles Clear the shingles rash more quickly

    Other health problems that can develop after the shingles rash clears include:

    • Blindness or loss of some eyesight

    Although rare, some people die of shingles.

    Treatment can prevent these complications.

    You can find out if you have a greater risk of developing shingles at, Shingles: Causes.

    Images

    Shingles Vaccine Reduces Your Risk Of Getting Shingles

    How Can You Prevent Shingles

    While there is no cure for shingles, getting the shingles vaccine can greatly reduce your risk of getting this disease.

    Shingles vaccine reduces risk

    The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine for healthy adults who are 50 years of age or older.

    If you think you may already have shingles, treatment is important. It can reduce your pain and how long the rash lasts.

    Find out how dermatologists diagnose and treat this condition at, Shingles: Diagnosis and treatment.

    3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Prevent Shingles: Get vaccinated. Page last reviewed July 23, 2018. Last accessed March 28, 2019.

    ImageGetty Images

    ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention . Prevent Shingles: Get vaccinated. Page last reviewed July 23, 2018. Last accessed March 28, 2019.

    Dooling KL, Guo A, et al. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 67:103-8.

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    What Should I Do About An Exposure To Varicella

    If you have been in contact with someone with chickenpox or shingles, or if you have a rash-associated illness that might be chickenpox or shingles, discuss your situation with your healthcare provider. Blood tests may be done to see if you have become infected with the virus or have had the disease in the past. If you are pregnant and not immune and have been exposed to chickenpox or shingles, call your healthcare provider immediately. Your provider may choose to treat you with a medication called varicella-zoster immune globulin , but in order for this medication to be most helpful, it needs to be given as soon as possible after your exposure to varicella.

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    How Can I Take Care Of Myself

    • 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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    Is The Shingles Rash Dangerous

    The shingles rash doesnt usually cause any long-term damage to your body. However, if your rash develops on your face or ears, it can cause long-term issues Ill explain the full risks in the section below.

    No matter how minor your case of shingles you should still go see your doctor to get treatment for your shingles. Theyâll likely provide you with medication to ease your pain and help fight the virus.

    Do You Need To Stay Away From Children People Who Are Pregnant Have Cancer Or Anyone With A Weak Immune System After You Get The Zostavax Vaccine

    Shingles

    According to the CDC, its safe to be around babies and young children, pregnant women or anyone with a weakened immune system after you get the Zostavax vaccine. Even though the Zostavax vaccine contains a weakened live varicella-zoster virus, the CDC says theres no documented case of a person getting chickenpox from someone who has received the Zostavax vaccine. And remember: You cant get shingles unless youve already had chickenpox.

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    What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

    Its normal to have questions before you get a vaccine. Some common questions you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider include:

    • When should I get the shingles vaccine?
    • What side effects should I expect?
    • How does the shingles vaccine work?
    • When should I schedule each dose of the shingles vaccine?
    • How effective is the shingles vaccine?
    • Is there any reason I shouldnt get the shingles vaccine?
    • What could happen if I dont get the shingles vaccine?

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    Whats The Outlook For People With Recurring Shingles

    What is the outlook for people with recurring shingles? Shingles usually clears up within two to six weeks. In a small number of cases, the pain can remain once the rash has healed. This is called postherpetic neuralgia . Up to 2 percent of people who get shingles have PHN for five years or more. The risk increases with age.

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    Who Should Be Vaccinated With Shingrix

    The Shingrix vaccine is recommended for those 50 years of age and older who are in good health.

    You should get the Shingrix vaccine even if:

    • Youve had shingles already.
    • Youve been previously vaccinated with Zostavax . If youve been vaccinated with Zostavax, wait at least eight weeks before getting vaccinated with Shingrix.
    • You dont know for sure if youve ever had chickenpox.

    Ask your healthcare provider, who knows your entire health history if getting this vaccine is right for you.

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    Who Is A Candidate For The Shingles Vaccine

    Shingles: What you need to know about causes, symptoms, and prevention.

    Healthy adults aged 50 years and older are candidates for the shingles vaccine Shingrix. There is no age limit, and you can get the Shingrix vaccine even if you have already had shingles, have had the Zostavax vaccine, or do not remember whether you have had chickenpox in the past.

    If you have already had shingles, getting the Shingrix can help protect you from the disease coming back. Studies have reported that almost every American aged 40 years and older have more than a 99% chance of having had chickenpox, and people who have had chickenpox are more likely to develop shingles in the future because both are caused by the same virusthe varicella-zoster virus.

    After having shingles, there is no duration that you need to wait before getting vaccinated, although you should wait until the rash has completely disappeared. Shringrix is given in 2 doses 2-6 months apart.

    Side effects are usually mild and may last for two to three days. No severe side effects for Shingrix have been reported so far.

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    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.

    What Are The Complications Associated With Shingles

    Shingles is not usually dangerous to healthy individuals although it can cause great misery during an attack. Anyone with shingles on the upper half of their face, no matter how mild, should seek medical care at once because of the risk of damage to the eye. Very rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation or death. For about one person in five, severe pain can continue even after the rash clears up. This pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia. As people get older, they are more likely to develop post-herpetic neuralgia, and it is more likely to be severe.

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    Tingling Pain Or Numbness

    During the first stage of shingles, before anything appears on your skin, a particular area of your body may begin to feel different. When a shingles outbreak is starting, you may feel itching, burning, or pain, Kim says. Often you will feel this on only one side of your body.

    The initial signs of shingles may feel different for each person. In some cases, shingles can cause intense sensitivity, making it painful to even wear clothes over your skin, while in other cases, your skin may feel numb.

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    Shingles The Facts And The Myths

    Shingles Stmptoms

    Myth: You can catch shingles from someone with chickenpox.

    Fact: Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus within your body, so you cannot catch shingles from anyone else. However, if someone has not had chickenpox they may catch it from someone who has shingles.

    Myth: Shingles only affects old or ill people.

    Fact: It is possible for anyone who has had chickenpox to develop shingles. The chance of developing shingles are very low before the age of 50, although young and otherwise healthy people do sometimes develop shingles. The immune system weakens with age and so the chance of developing shingles increases as we get older.

    Myth: I cant get shingles because I cant remember having chickenpox.

    Fact: If you have definitely never had chickenpox you cant develop shingles. However, some people dont know whether or not they had chickenpox as a child, because the infection may have been so mild it didnt cause any obvious symptoms. You can still develop shingles even if you have only had a very mild case of chickenpox.

    Myth: Ive already had shingles so I cant get it again.

    Fact: Unfortunately, some people can suffer from more than one episode of shingles. Why this happens is not fully understood, but as we age they immune system does weaken, which may explain why we are more likely to develop shingles the older we are and why it sometimes returns.

    Where can I find more information?

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    What Are Shingles Symptoms

    Common symptoms of shingles are pain and a rash in a belt-like form that stops at the midline of the body affecting only one side. Symptoms of shingles progress from burning and itching sensations to severe pain at the location of the rash. Early shingles symptoms may include burning, tingling, or a numb sensation on the skin accompanied by headache, upset stomach, and chills.

    Later stages include painful fluid-filled blisters that cause severe pain, fever, and severe itching.

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    What Shingles Symptoms Come Next

    After about 1 to 5 days, a shingles rash will appear on one side of the body, often in a single characteristic band around one side of the torso or face.

    The painful rash will then form itchy or burning blister-like sores filled with a clear fluid. The blisters will scab over in 7 to 10 days. Theyll gradually grow smaller before disappearing.

    Shingles rash symptoms commonly last between 2 to 4 weeks.

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