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Is It Possible To Have Shingles Without Pain

Symptoms Of Zoster Sine Herpete

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

Zoster sine herpete is not common and can be hard to diagnose as the most common and differentiating shingles rash is not present. Other symptoms of ZSH are similar to regular shingles, which include:

Pain

Shingles is a very painful disease. This pain is typically described as a deep boring or stabbing sensation that is very severe. Because of the impact on the nervous system this pain may have an electric feel to it. In many cases pain will only affect one side of the body and will be localized to a specific area of the skin, though the disease can affect as many as three spinal nerves at a time. As the disease affects the skin, patients may experience a prickling, itching, or numbness on the skin as well.

Flu-like Symptoms

Patients will often develop flu-like symptoms just before the skin lesions appear. This can include body or muscle aches, headaches, mild fever, a general feeling of illness or poor appetite. These symptoms can last as long as 7-10 days. It is important to note that unlike a cold, patients will not develop a runny nose or cough when suffering from shingles.

Movement Problems

Other Symptoms

  • Pain radiating from your spine
  • Sensitive to touch

Causes Of Shingles Without Rash

Shingles is a disease caused by the presence of the varicella-zoster virus in the tissue of the nervous system. This virus enters the body when a patient catches chickenpox. It remains inactive in the tissue for years before resurfacing as the shingles disease. Doctors are unsure what causes the disease to become active again, though it appears that adults with weak immune systems are more prone to these outbreaks than others. As the varicella-zoster virus becomes active again it will travel through the nerve pathways to the skin, which causes a sore skin reaction.

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.

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Shingles Or Something Else

Small blisters that appear only on the lips or around the mouth may be cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters. They’re not shingles, but are instead caused by the herpes simplex virus. Itchy blisters that appear after hiking, gardening, or spending time outdoors could be a reaction to poison ivy, oak, or sumac. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your rash, see your healthcare provider.

The Shingles Rash Usually Occurs On One Side Of The Body Or Face Most Commonly On The Trunk

Herpes Zoster Shingles Pathophysiology  Herpes Free Me

Its easy to mistake a shingles rash for another health condition that affects the skin. The shingles virus typically causes a painful rash and blisters, which can resemble many other skin conditions psoriasis, eczema, and hives among them. However, there are a few signs that your rash is more likely to be shingles than something else.

To get shingles, you must have had chickenpox. Shingles, or herpes zoster, occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates after lying dormant in the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 out of 3 people in the United States will get shingles in their lifetime. While your risk of getting shingles increases as you age, anyone can get it if they had chickenpox, notes the CDC.

About half of all shingles cases occur in adults age 60 or older, and the risk of getting shingles becomes much greater by age 70, according to the National Institute on Aging.

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Is It Still Shingles If Theres No Rash

Cases of shingles with no rash may be more common than previously thought.

Shingles is practically synonymous with the word rash. In fact, a blistering red rash that begins a few days after the onset of pain is one of the classic symptoms that clinches the diagnosis. But sometimes shingles presents without a rash, a condition called zoster sine herpete , and its important to know how to identify and treat it.

ZSH may actually be more common than previously believed, according to Anne Louise Oaklander, MD, PhD, a neurologist and director of the Nerve Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. She says it used to be thought of as unusual and suspect. But extensive studies related to the shingles vaccine Shingrix have provided lots of new information about the herpes zoster virus and shingles. As a result, Oaklander says ZSH may end up being the rule rather than the exception.

One of the things that emerged from these studies is the fact that most shingles infections are mild and many are subclinical, she told Drug Topics. The virus is more active than we thought and its re-erupting in a partial way that very often is going to pass unrecognized.

Who Is At Risk For Getting Shingles

People who have had chickenpox who are more likely to develop shingles include those:

  • With a weakened immune system .
  • Over the age of 50.
  • Who have been ill.
  • Who have experienced trauma.
  • Who are under stress.

The chickenpox virus doesnt leave your body after you have chickenpox. Instead, the virus stays in a portion of your spinal nerve root called the dorsal root ganglion. For the majority of people, the virus stays there quietly and doesn’t cause problems. Researchers aren’t always sure why the virus gets reactivated, but this typically occurs at times of stress.

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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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Children whose shingles rash that can’t be completely covered should not go to school or childcare until the blisters scab over and are dry.

Newborn babies, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone who is not immune to chickenpox should avoid close contact with anyone who has shingles until the rash is gone.

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Get Shingles Treatment Online

Speak to a board-certified doctor securely from your phone or computer and get medication for shingles in 15 minutes. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can appear anywhere on the body, it most often is a single stripe of blisters that wraps around the left or right side of your torso. With our same-day treatment service, you can meet with a top online doctor, get diagnosed, and receive the medication you need.

When Should I See My Doctor

See your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms of shingles. Starting treatment with antiviral medicines within 3 days of the rash appearing should reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of further complications, including post-herpetic neuralgia.

See your doctor straight away if you have symptoms of shingles and are experiencing the following:

  • symptoms that affect your eye area
  • a temperature of 38°C or higher

You should also see your doctor if you are pregnant, or have a weakened immune system due to medicine that suppresses the immune system, or a condition that weakens your immune system.

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How Is Shingles Treated

To diagnose shingles, a doctor or other healthcare professional will use the following tools:

  • Physical examination. A doctor will look at your rash and blisters. This is often enough to make a diagnosis.
  • Medical history. Knowing your medical history allows a doctor to better understand your risk of developing shingles.
  • Lab tests. If necessary, your doctor will take a sample of your skin or fluid from your blisters. Theyll send the sample to a lab, where it will be checked for the virus.

Theres no cure for shingles. However, early treatment can help resolve the rash faster and lower the risk of long-term complications, especially if the eye or inner ear is involved.

Shingles treatment includes:

  • Antiviral medication. Antiviral drugs can reduce the severity and length of a shingles episode. Your doctor might prescribe acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir.
  • Pain medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease your symptoms. If your pain is severe, your doctor might suggest opioids, topical lidocaine, or gabapentin, a medication that helps with nerve pain.
  • Topical steroid. A topical steroid can help decrease inflammation and reduce pain and itching.
  • Topical capsaicin. If the pain continues after the rash has cleared, applying capsaicin cream may help.

Is Shingles Contagious

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People cannot catch shingles from another person but it is possible for someone to catch chickenpox from a person with shingles. This can only happen if someone has not had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine.

The varicella-zoster virus present in shingles blisters can be spread if someone comes into direct contact with the fluid. It remains contagious until the last blister has dried up and scabbed over.

The risk of spreading the virus is low if the rash is kept covered. Individuals with shingles should avoid contact with anyone who has not already had chickenpox. This is particularly important in the following cases:

10 sourcescollapsed

  • Gilden, D., Cohrs, R. J., Mahalingam, R., & Nagel, M. A. . Neurological disease produced by varicella zoster virus reactivation without rash. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology, 342,, 243253

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When To See A Doctor

A person should see a doctor if they are experiencing any early symptoms of shingles, especially if they have a history of shingles or are at a higher risk of developing an acute outbreak of the virus due to any of the risk factors above.

A person undergoing treatment for shingles should follow up with a doctor if:

  • the symptoms get significantly worse after treatment
  • the symptoms do not go away within a few weeks
  • new or different symptoms appear in addition to the rash
  • there are signs of secondary infection, such as high fever, an open wound, or red streaks coming out of a shingles lesion

People should also speak to a doctor if they have lasting nerve pain in the affected region after the rash of shingles disappears. This complication, called postherpetic neuralgia, affects

In many cases , a doctor will prescribe an antiviral medication, such as famciclovir, valacyclovir, or acyclovir. Pain-relieving medicine can also help ease symptoms. Calamine lotion, colloidal oatmeal compresses and baths, and cold compresses may ease the itching of shingles.

It is important to refrain from scratching the affected area as this can irritate the blisters and increase the risk of infection.

Some people develop a superimposed bacterial skin infection over their shingles lesions. This infection can be very painful, and it may spread if a person does not receive treatment. Individuals who develop this infection in addition to shingles may require antibiotic treatment or even hospitalization.

Risk Factors Of Shingles

Anyone that has suffered from chickenpox can develop a shingles outbreak later in life. The likelihood of individuals in the United States developing either disease is diminishing due to the widespread use of vaccinations against the virus. However, there are still risk factors that increase the risk that you may suffer a shingles outbreak.

Weakened Immune System

Diseases that weaken your immune system such as cancer, HIV/AIDS can increase the risk that patients will suffer a shingles outbreak. Because cancer treatments will significantly weaken the immune system, those that have gone through chemotherapy or radiation are also at a higher risk for developing singles. Any other medications that suppress the immune system such as those given to patients going through an organ transplant will have similar effects.

Age

The risk of developing shingles also becomes greater as people age. People over the age of 50 are significantly more likely to develop shingles than any other age group. It is estimated that about half the people who live to age 85 will experience shingles at least once.

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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.

Complications Of Shingles Without Rash

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Complications from shingles can be very severe, particularly if the outbreak goes untreated.

  • Postherpetic Neuralgia-This condition is caused when the nerve fibers become confused after their interaction with the shingles virus. Postherpetic neuralgia will cause the nerves to send exaggerated feelings of pain from the skin to the brain, even after the shingles outbreak has healed.
  • Neurological Problems-Nerves can become permanently damaged after suffering from a shingles outbreak. Facial paralysis, hearing problems, balance problems or inflammation of the brain are all possible side effects.
  • Vision Loss-If a shingles outbreak occurs around the eye it can cause a severe infection. This may cause vision damage or permanent vision loss.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

Early symptoms of shingles may include:

Other signs and symptoms that appear a few days after the early symptoms include:

  • An itching, tingling or burning feeling in an area of your skin.
  • Redness on your skin in the affected area.
  • Raised rash in a small area of your skin.
  • Fluid-filled blisters that break open then scab over.
  • Mild to severe pain in the area of skin affected.

Hives Can Cause Itchy Red Bumps

Hives are red or skin-colored bumps that can cause mild to severe itching, according to the ACAAI. They typically appear suddenly and disappear quickly. Pressing the middle of a red bump will make it turn white, which is known as blanching. Hives can be caused by a number of triggers, including allergies, cold or hot weather, and infections.

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How Is Postherpetic Neuralgia Treated

Treatments include lotions or creams and/or other medications not specifically used for pain, such as antidepressants or drugs for epilepsy. Regular pain relievers are not usually effective for this type of pain.

If your pain doesnt lessen, you might try therapies like nerve blocks or steroid injections near the area where the nerves exit the spine. Your provider might suggest an implantable nerve stimulator device for severe, ongoing pain that hasnt responded to other treatments.

Other Complications Of Shingles

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If the shingles rash appears around the eye or forehead, it can cause eye infections and temporary or permanent loss of vision. If the shingles virus attacks the ear, people may develop hearing or balance problems. In rare cases, the shingles virus may attack the brain or spinal cord. These complications can often be prevented by beginning treatment for shingles as soon as possible.

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What Is Herpes Zoster

Shingles, like a number of itchy, highly communicable skin conditions, is caused by the herpes virus. Herpes zoster, the specific form of the herpes virus, is also responsible for chickenpox. Unlike some forms of herpes, herpes zoster is not a sexually transmitted infection. The shingles and chickenpox viruses are unique because they can lie dormant in the body for years. During herpes zosters resting phase, a person will notice no symptoms. Its only when the virus resurfaces that symptoms crop up again. Once a person has herpes zoster, their chances of having another flare up are high. Herpes zoster is highly contagious, and is spread by skin to skin contact, or contact with the fluids that may be contained in shingles or chickenpox lesions.

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.

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