Tuesday, June 25, 2024

How Long Does Shingles Rash Last

Are Viral Rashes Contagious

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

While some viral rashes are contagious, others are not. Those that are contagious are usually spread during certain stages of the infection, often before symptoms appear.

Getting an accurate diagnosis for a skin rash is the best way to know whether you have a contagious viral rash. In addition, the information can help you reduce the spread of the virus to family members and other close contacts.

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What Should You Expect If You Get Shingles

Shingles can be a very painful condition. If you think you have the symptoms of shingles, see your healthcare provider right away. Starting antiviral medications early can ease your discomfort and end symptoms earlier.

A better approach to shingles is to take action and do what you can to lessen your risk of getting it. If youve never had shingles in the past, talk to your healthcare provider about getting the shingles vaccine. If youve never had chickenpox, talk with your healthcare provider about getting the chickenpox vaccine.

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Who Should Get Shingrix

Adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. Adults 19 years and older who have or will have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix. If needed, people with weakened immune systems can get the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first.

You should get Shingrix even if in the past you:

  • Received varicella vaccine

There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix.

If you had shingles in the past, Shingrix can help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific length of time that you need to wait after having shingles before you can receive Shingrix, but generally you should make sure the shingles rash has gone away before getting vaccinated.

Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus . After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles.

Shingrix is available in doctors offices and pharmacies.

If you have questions about Shingrix, talk with your healthcare provider.

* A shingles vaccine called zoster vaccine live is no longer available for use in the United States, as of November 18, 2020. If you had Zostavax in the past, you should still get Shingrix. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best time to get Shingrix.

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How Do You Prevent Shingles

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect against shingles in most people. The shingles vaccine should not be given to people who are immunocompromised.

For more information on shingles immunisation, see Shingles immunisation service.

Shingles is less contagious than chickenpox. The risk of spreading the disease is low if the rash is covered. When the rash has developed crusts, you are no longer infectious.

If you have shingles, you should:

Avoid contact with these people until the rash has developed crusts:

  • pregnant women who have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine
  • premature or low birthweight babies
  • children who have not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine
  • people with weakened immune systems, such as people who:
  • have had chemotherapy

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Stay Away From Certain Groups Of People If You Have Shingles

How to Treat Post Shingles Pain

You cannot spread shingles to others. But people who have not had chickenpox before could catch chickenpox from you.

This is because shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus.

Try to avoid:

  • pregnant people who have not had chickenpox before
  • people with a weakened immune system like someone having chemotherapy
  • babies less than 1 month old unless you gave birth to them, as your baby should be protected from the virus by your immune system

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Shingles Symptoms: The Rash

The rash associated with herpes zoster begins as small blisters in a reddish background. New blisters form for the next few days, usually 3 to 5 days. Blisters emerge in a path of individual nerves in a specific ray-like distribution called a dermatomal pattern. Blisters tend to break out in a band-like pattern over an area of skin.

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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When To Call A Doctor

if you:

  • Have a rash or blisters on your face, especially near an eye or on the tip of your nose. This can be a warning of eye problems. Treatment can help prevent permanent eye damage.
  • Think you have shingles. Early treatment with antiviral medicines may help reduce pain and prevent complications of shingles, such as disseminated zoster or postherpetic neuralgia .

If you still feel intense pain for more than 1 month after the skin heals, see your doctor to find out if you have PHN. Getting your pain under control right away may prevent nerve damage that may cause pain that lasts for months or years.

Duration Will Vary For Each Person

How Long Does Shingles Last?

Its important to know shingles duration last because you dont want this condition to negatively impact your life. If left untreated, it can lead to other complications like PHN or blindness.

However, if taken cared of properly and treated immediately with antiviral medication, shingles last should only be about six weeks.

Vaccines against shingles are also available and widely proven to be effective. Shingrix is an FDA-approved vaccine that effectively reduces the risk of getting shingles by up to 97%.

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Can You Get Shingles If You Havent Had Chickenpox

No. You cant get shingles if youve never had chickenpox, but you can get chickenpox from someone who has shingles. If youve never had chickenpox and you come into direct contact with the oozing, blister-like rash of someone with shingles, the varicella-zoster virus can infect you and you would develop chickenpox.

Once youve had chickenpox, you could develop shingles at some point in your life. This is because the varicella-zoster virus never fully goes away after youve had chickenpox. It lies quietly inactive in your nerve tissue. Later in life, the virus may become active again and appears as shingles.

Can you get chickenpox more than once?

Its rare to get chickenpox twice in your life. Once youve had chickenpox, youre usually immune to it for the rest of your life. However, its not totally impossible. If you have a severely weakened immune system , you can get chickenpox a second time. If youve had chickenpox, you are more likely to get shingles at some point in your life than a repeat bout of chickenpox.

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Who’s 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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Preventing The Virus Spreading

If you have the shingles rash, do not share towels or flannels, go swimming, or play contact sports. This will help prevent the virus being passed on to someone who has not had chickenpox.

You should also avoid work or school if your rash is weeping and cannot be covered.

Chickenpox can be particularly dangerous for certain groups of people. If you have shingles, avoid:

  • women who are pregnant and have not had chickenpox before as they could catch it from you, which may harm their unborn baby
  • people who have a weak immune system, such as someone with HIV or AIDS
  • babies less than one month old, unless it is your own baby, in which case your baby should have antibodies to protect them from the virus

Once your blisters have dried and scabbed over, you are no longer contagious and will not need to avoid anyone.

What Increases The Risk Of Long

Progression Of Shingles 1

The risk of developing post-herpetic neuralgia increases with age. Four weeks after getting shingles,

  • 27% of 55- to 59-year-olds and
  • 73% of over 70-year-olds had nerve pain.

Women seem to be more likely to have longer-lasting nerve pain than men. Post-herpetic neuralgia is also more likely to develop if your eyes were affected by shingles.

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Should I See A Doctor For Shingles

It is usually worth seeing a doctor to be certain about the diagnosis and to see if you need treatment or not. Ideally you should see a doctor as soon as possible after the rash appears.

The rash of shingles can be very painful. So even if the doctor doesn’t think you need an anti-shingles medicine, they may be able to give you stronger painkillers than those you can buy over the counter from the chemist.

How Long Does It Take For Shingles To Progress

Shingles progresses into blisters over three to five days and begins to crust over after seven to ten days. The rash is preceded by a prodromal phase lasting 48-72 hours or longer, consisting of throbbing pain and numbness in the area affecting the nerve. Once the rash blisters, it can last another three to five days before the lesions scab over.

After the lesions crust over, it may take two to four weeks to heal completely. At this time, pain may still be present. The most painful stage of shingles is when you have fluid-filled blisters. This usually occurs three to five days after the rash first appears.

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Can Other People Catch Shingles

This one is confusing! You can catch chickenpox from other people, but you can’t catch shingles from other people. You only get shingles from a reactivation of your own chickenpox infection in the past.

So if you have shingles, and you come into contact with somebody else, they cannot ‘catch’ your shingles. But if they have never had chickenpox, it is possible that they could catch chickenpox from you.

To put it another way, no, you don’t ‘catch’ shingles. It comes from a virus hiding out in your own body, not from someone else. But if you have shingles, you may be infectious, as it is possible for people to catch chickenpox from you.

Only people who have never had chickenpox are likely to be at risk of catching chickenpox from your shingles. People who have had chickenpox should be immune from catching it again. If the rash is in a covered area of skin, the risk of anyone with whom you are not in close contact catching chickenpox is very low.

What Is The Incubation Period For Shingles

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

A rash will begin to appear after a few days of symptoms such as

  • burning, and/or
  • numbness, usually on only one side of the body.

During the appearance of this rash and subsequent blister formation, the patient begins to shed the virus from the skin lesions and is contagious.

Shingles has two stages:

  • a prodromal stage and active stage and
  • the prodromal stage or period consists of symptoms without the rash while the active stage or period begins when the rash starts.

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Myth : Shingles Isnt That Serious

Shingles isnt usually mild. Though the disease may run its course relatively quickly , a red rash isnt the worst of it. In most cases the blisters come with deep pain that can be debilitating, reducing a persons ability to go about their day.

What some people dont realize is how terrible the pain associated with shingles can be and how long it can last, Garner says.

After the rash is gone, burning, stabbing, throbbing pain can reappear as a chronic condition, called postherpetic neuralgia . It occurs where the rash was and can continue for months, even years. As the most common complication of shingles, PHN can usher in more problems, including depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, and trouble with sleeping and concentrating.

According to the CDC, between 10 and 18 percent of people with shingles develop PHN. Thats roughly 1 or 2 people out of every 10. Your risk for developing PHN increases with age. Also, the more pain you experienced during your shingles outbreak, the more likely you are to develop PHN.

This part is important: If your shingles rash appears on your face, it can be serious, especially if its near your eyes. This is particularly urgent, and the patient should also be evaluated by an ophthalmologist, Patel says, as it can pose a risk to vision and result in corneal scarring and, rarely, blindness.

We consider that an ophthalmological emergency, Garner adds.

How Common Is Shingles

Currently, around 2030% of people experience shingles at some point in their life.

The U.S. introduced a chickenpox vaccine in 1995, and the number of chickenpox cases has dropped by around 7685% since then. This means that, over time, the number of people with the VZV in their system is likely to decrease.

Shingles may become less prevalent as children who received the chickenpox vaccine grow into adulthood.

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What Does Early Stages Of Shingles Look Like

Shingles progress through several stages as the virus replicates in your body. Shingles start as a rash with red bumps, known as papules, distributed most frequently over your back and torso.

Within several days, grouped blisters are present. Within seven to ten days, the vesicles dry up and crust.

The early stage of shingles looks like small, red, raised, solid pimples or an inflamed rash. These are tiny, raised bumps on the skin. Eventually, these bumps blister and later crust. The beginning stages of shingles create tingling and localized pain.

The early stages of shingles are also described as itching, burning, or deep pain. People who have had shingles also described the early stages as similar to the beginning of the flu.

Is There A Shingles Vaccination

Early Signs of Shingles

In the UK there is a shingles vaccine immunisation programme for people aged 70 years to protect against herpes zoster. There is also a catch-up programme which offers the vaccine to anyone aged between 70 and 79 years who has previously missed out on immunisation. The vaccine is licensed for people aged over 50 years, and if you are not eligible for the vaccine on the NHS, your pharmacist may be able to provide the vaccine as a private service.

The chickenpox vaccine is not routinely given to children in the UK but is offered to people who are in close contact with someone who is particularly vulnerable to chickenpox or its complications – eg, people with a weakened immune system.

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Appearance On Black And Brown Skin

Many images of the shingles rash show how it appears on white skin. These images typically display a patch of skin thats very red and inflamed. This is called erythema and is due to the dilation of blood vessels in the skin.

While erythema can happen in all people, its effects can be harder to see on black and brown skin. Because of this, it can be hard to identify some types of skin conditions.

For example, a 2020 study found that medical students only correctly identified hives on skin of color 57.5 percent of the time, compared to 82.2 percent of the time for white skin.

The shingles rash generally has a very distinct appearance and co-occurring symptoms. In fact, medical students in the study above identified shingles correctly at a similar rate for skin or color and for white skin.

Nevertheless, its important to be able to recognize the signs of shingles on black and brown skin. This is because when identified and treated early, the duration and severity of shingles can be reduced. Well describe what to look out for below.

Can Infection With Vzv During Pregnancy Harm The Baby

Many mothers-to-be are concerned about any infection contracted during pregnancy. Some infections can be transmitted to the baby either across the mothers bloodstream to the fetus or during the birth process. Chickenpox virus infection 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. Such cases are rare and experts differ in their opinions on how great the risk is. Most experts agree that shingles in a pregnant woman, a rare event, 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 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.

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