Monday, March 4, 2024

Rash That Looks Like Shingles

If You Get The Shingles Vaccine Does This Mean Youre 100% Protected From Getting Shingles

Herpes Zoster or 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.

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.

Measles Rash Looks Like Flat Red Spots

Like the shingles rash and herpes simplex, measles is caused by a virus. Measles is highly contagious. Symptoms of measles typically begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, according to the CDC. Three to five days later, a rash that looks like flat red spots appears, normally starting on the face at the hairline and spreading down the body to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Measles is a very serious disease that can lead to complications and death fortunately, it can be prevented with a measles vaccine.

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When Should I See A Doctor

If you think you have shingles or are worried about getting it, see your doctor and discuss the options available to you. “With COVID, people are so far behind getting their vaccines because they haven’t been aggressive about getting them while not wanting to go out,” says Stephan Foster, a pharmacist and liaison member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP. “There is enough supply. There are a lot of people that need to get it right now.”

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Who Is At Risk For Getting Shingles

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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.

Also Check: How Does One Get Shingles Rash

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.

Other Complications Of Shingles

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 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 you’ve 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.

How Long Does Shingles Last

Mayo Clinic Minute: Don’t suffer with shingles

Shingles blisters usually scab over in 7-10 days and disappear completely in two to four weeks. In most healthy people, the blisters leave no scars, and the pain and itching go away after a few weeks or months. But people with weakened immune systems may develop shingles blisters that do not heal in a timely manner.

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Is A Vaccine Available To Prevent Shingles

Two vaccines are available in the United States to reduce your chance of developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. One vaccine, Zostavax®, has been available since 2006. The second vaccine, Shingrix®, has been available since 2017. Shingrix is recommended as the preferred vaccine by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of medical and public health experts.

Shingrix is given as a two-dose shot in your upper arm. You should receive the second dose two to six months after receiving the first. Shingrix has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. Its effectiveness remains above 85% for at least four years after receiving the vaccine.

Is Shingles Contagious

Yes, but not in the way you may think. Your shingles rash will not trigger an outbreak of shingles in another person, but it can sometimes cause chickenpox in a child. People who’ve never had chickenpox, or the vaccine to prevent it, can pick up the virus by direct contact with the open sores of shingles. So keep a shingles rash covered and avoid contact with infants, as well as pregnant women who have never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine and people who may have weak immune systems such as chemotherapy patients.

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How Is Eczema Treated

See a doctor if you develop eczema symptoms for the first time. Your doctor can examine your skin and confirm if eczema is causing your symptoms.

If your doctor thinks you have eczema, theyll explain how to manage your symptoms. This might include consulting a dermatologist.

Similarly, if youve already been diagnosed with eczema, be sure to continue following your medical professionals recommendations.

Like shingles, eczema has no cure, but treatment and self-care can help decrease flare-ups and protect your skin. This may include:

What Are The Symptoms And Stages Shingles

What Does Shingles Look Like: Shingles Rash Pictures

Shingles symptoms appear in stages. At first, you may get headaches or feel like you have the flu, but without a fever. You may also be sensitive to light, have trouble thinking clearly or feel dizzy and weak.

A few days or even weeks later, an area of your body or face will feel itchy, tingly or painful. This is where a rash will appear. The rash will eventually turn into a cluster of blisters that are filled with fluid.

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Shingles Vs Poison Ivy: How To Tell The Difference

Roughly 1 in 3 people in the United States will have shingles in their lifetime, making it one of the most common viral illnesses in older adults.

Poison ivy rash is one of the most common dermatological conditions in the United States, affecting up to 50 million people each year.

While shingles and poison ivy can both cause a blistering rash, there are significant differences in symptoms between the two conditions.

In this article, well explore how to tell the difference between shingles and poison ivy, including the symptoms, treatment, and prevention for each condition.

Although shingles and poison ivy may appear similar at first glance, there are definitive differences between the symptoms of shingles and the symptoms of poison ivy rash.

A viral shingles infection generally presents with a specific type of blistery rash thats accompanied by other symptoms of malaise, such as pain, fever, chills, and headaches.

An allergic poison ivy rash may look similar, but is usually more localized and doesnt cause symptoms of feeling unwell.

The chart below outlines the primary differences between a shingles infection and a poison ivy rash.

Shingles

How Is Shingles Diagnosed

Your healthcare provider will do a complete physical exam and ask about your medical history, specifically about whether you have ever had chickenpox.

Your healthcare provider will likely know right away that it is shingles based on the unique rash. The rash usually appears one area on one side of the body or face. It appears as red spots, small fluid- or pus-filled vesicles, or scabs.

The healthcare provider may also take skin scrapings for testing.

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Skin Care And Itch Relief For Shingles

To relieve itching and discomfort, try:

  • A cool, wet compresses on the affected skin
  • Soothing baths and lotions, such as colloidal oatmeal bath, starch baths, or calamine lotion
  • Zostrix, a cream that contains capsaicin
  • Antihistamines to reduce itching

Keep your skin clean. Throw away bandages you use to cover your skin sores. Throw away or wash in hot water clothing that has contact with your skin sores. Wash your sheets and towels in hot water.

While your skin sores are still open and oozing, avoid all contact with anyone who has never had chickenpox, especially pregnant women.

Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of Your Body

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

The virus travels in specific nerves, so you will often see shingles occur in a band on one side of your body. This band corresponds to the area where the nerve transmits signals. The shingles rash stays somewhat localized to an area. It doesnt spread over your whole body. Your torso is a common area, as is your face.

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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.

Chickenpox Is Caused By The Same Virus

The same virus, varicella zoster virus, causes both chickenpox and shingles.

Chickenpox typically causes an itchy rash that spreads over the entire body, as opposed to just one side of the body or face like shingles. More than 99 percent of Americans born on or before 1980 have had chickenpox, per the CDC. If you dont know if you had chickenpox, check with your family doctor, who can review your records.

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Chicken Pox Vs Impetigo

Chickenpox is a nuisance that most people have to endure at least once in their lives. A similar disease, impetigo, can be easily mistaken for chicken pox as both chicken pox and impetigo are itchy and look like blisters all over the body.

The biggest difference between impetigo and chicken pox is the color of the liquid in the blister. Chickenpox tends to have clear liquid, while impetigos liquid is more likely to be yellowish. And while impetigo appears to be all across the body, it usually is just across the face, arms and legs.

All of these rashes can develop into more serious issues if not treated correctly. Home remedies can also do more harm than good, especially if misdiagnosed. If you can, its best to have a dermatologist evaluate your rashes so that you can get the best and most effective treatment right away.

When To Call Your Healthcare Provider

Shingles: A Serious and Painful Disease

While most skin rashes are not life-threatening, a rash can sometimes mean something more serious is happening in your body.

If you have a rash and notice any of the following symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider for an evaluation:

  • The rash hurts.
  • The rash comes and goes.
  • The rash is made up of blisters or open sores, or the sores affect the skin around your eyes, mouth, or genitals.
  • The rash prevents you from getting sleep or interferes with your daily activities.

In some cases, a rash can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. Should you notice any of the following, call 911 or go to the emergency room:

  • The rash is all over your body or is spreading rapidly. This could mean you are having an allergic reaction.
  • The rash is painful, oozing pus, swollen, warm to the touch, or there is a red streak coming from the rash. These are signs that the rash is infected.
  • The rash is accompanied by a fever, which could mean you have an infection. It can also be a sign of a disease such as herpes, measles, shingles, or mononucleosis.
  • The rash is accompanied by dizziness, difficulty breathing, vomiting, a stiff neck, or any other unusual or worrisome symptoms.

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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.

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.

Read Also: What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles Disease

Who Should Not Get The Vaccine

Do not get the shingles vaccine if:

  • You have a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis, to any ingredient of a vaccine or to a previous dose of Shingrix
  • You have shingles now.
  • You are sick with an illness and a fever of 101°F or higher.

  • You should also consider delaying the vaccine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough is known about its safety for expectant and lactating women.
  • You have had a negative test for varicella this would be uncommon for adults eligible for the vaccine, as most adults worldwide ages 50 and older have been exposed to the virus. You do not have to be tested before getting the vaccine.

Skin Allergies: Causes & Symptoms Of The Reaction

How to treat shingles

Skin allergies and stress are two common causes of skin rashes, but an allergic skin reaction can look very similar to the shingles rashmaking the two skin conditions difficult to differentiate. To spot the difference, its important to ask your resident or the elderly loved one in question about any recent changes in his or her routine. An allergic skin reaction can be caused by medication, exposure to an outdoor skin allergen , or exposure to new cosmetics . These allergic reactions can look like sporadic or irregularly shaped red sores on the skin. This flat or raised irritation can be itchy and bumpy, and even lead to blisters. However, unlike shingles, allergic skin rashes like this will often clear up on their ownwith most gone around two weeks after exposure.

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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.

Could It Be Shingles

If youre an older adult and experiencing a blistery rash, the most likely answer is that youve got , a.k.a. herpes zoster, which affects one in three people in their lifetime, according to the CDC. Shingles is whats known as a reactivation virus that usually affects older adults, says Dr. Jones Lopez. Basically, once youve had chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus stays in your body. After the initial infection, the virus goes into dormant state for potentially decades, he says. Much later in life, when your immunity goes down, it can reactivate as shingles.

Unlike a chickenpox rash, the shingles rash is usually confined to a specific area of the body and appears in a single band, rather than spreading indiscriminately. It typically happens somewhere on the chest or back, says Dr. Jones-Lopez, although the head and other parts of the body can sometimes be affected. The key thing that distinguishes the shingles rash is that it doesnt cross the midline. If it spreads across your body, its not shingles. For example, if youve got a rash on left side of your face but another on the right side of your back, you can probably rule out this illness.

In addition to a rash , you may have some pain, itching, or tingling on your skin. You may also have flu-like symptoms . Like chickenpox, shingles rashes may itchbut they are mostly known for causing pain.

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