Prevent Shingles With Vaccination
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that almost all people ages 60 and older be vaccinated against shingles, whether or not they had chicken pox in their youth or have had shingles before, says Dr. Oaklander.
The vaccination that prevents chickenpox in children was used to develop a similar vaccine that protects against shingles. It reduces the risk of getting shingles by about half, and shingles rashes that still develop are slightly less likely to cause postherpetic pain, or other serious complications, says Dr. Oaklander.
People with especially weak immune systems, such as those with cancer or anyone undergoing immunosuppressive treatments, should avoid Zostavax since the vaccine contains a weakened form of the live virus. Because Zostavax has only been available since 2006, it is still not yet clear if a single vaccination offers lifelong protection, but at this time, no booster is recommended.
A new shingles vaccine called HZ/su also may be helpful for older adults. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the vaccine was 97.2% effective among those ages 50 and older, and 97.9% effective for those ages 70 and older. And since HZ/su is not made from a live, weakened virus, it is safe to give to people with weak immune systems. This vaccine still needs to undergo further testing before it can be submitted for FDA approval, which may happen as early as this year.
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Eczema Can Cause Red Itchy Skin With Bumps
Like shingles, a skin allergy can also cause red, bumpy, itchy skin, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . These reactions include eczema, hives, and contact dermatitis. Eczema can cause dry, red, itchy, irritated skin, per the ACAAI. Small, oozing, fluid-filled bumps may also appear, especially when the skin is infected. Eczema is most common on the face, inside the elbows and behind the knees, and on the hands and feet, per MedlinePlus. There is no cure for eczema, but treatments can help manage the condition.
What The Shingles Solution Did For Me
The program did four things for me. These are essential for anybody suffering shingles right now. They were crucial to my quick and full recovery:
I had shingles for less than half the time most other people have it. And I suffered zero after-effects.
If you have to have shingles this is the way you want to have it!
And do be clear about this: there is nothing unusual about the outcome I enjoyed. I wasnt some rare, lucky person.
Put plainly, thousands of people with shingles take this natural, evidence-based approach to their illness and get well quickly with minimal pain and no after-effects.
Others trust drugs and pharmaceuticals only and take their chances. That as my brother found out can end very badly.
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When Should You See A Healthcare Provider
Contact your healthcare provider right away if you suspect you might have shingles, especially if you are older than age 60.
You should also seek out medical attention for:
- Pain and/or a rash near the eye. Left untreated, shingles could lead to permanent eye damage.
- Pain, redness, or rash on the face
- A very painful and widespread rash
- A high fever or feeling very sick in addition to a rash
- Blister spread to other parts of the body
- A severe headache with a rash on the scalp or head
- Weakness on one side of the face
The National Institute on Aging recommends seeing your healthcare provider no later than three days after the start of the shingles rash.
How Common Is Postherpetic Neuralgia
Varicella-zoster virus causes both chickenpox and shingles. About 99% of Americans over age 40 have had chickenpox. About one in three people in the U.S. develop shingles in their lifetime. Some 10 to 18% of people who get shingles will develop postherpetic neuralgia. Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles.
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How Long Will The Effects Last
The rash from shingles will heal in 1 to 3 weeks and the pain or irritation will usually go away in 3 to 5 weeks. When shingles occurs on the head or scalp, the symptoms usually go away eventually, but it may take many months.
If the virus damages a nerve, you may have pain, numbness, or tingling for months or even years after the rash is healed. This is called postherpetic neuralgia. This chronic condition is most likely to occur after a shingles outbreak in people over 50 years old. Taking antiviral medicine as soon as the shingles is diagnosed may help prevent this problem.
Shingles Will Not Go Away
Ive read several folks problems with recurring shingles, and I wanted to add Im another with the same issue. It started about 3 years ago. I got too hot at work and they really beat me down. Its been a continuous battle ever since. I work away from home for a month at a time in extreme heat and high work demand environments. I know this doesnt help, but its my job!
Im 40 years old, and received the Shingrix vaccine about 6 weeks ago. Symptoms went away after a couple weeks. Finally came back to work about a week ago, and here its starting again. I dont know what to do. Its getting old, and really putting me in a financial bind as well. Ive tried all the conventional and non-conventional treatments that I could find, but it seems every time I get back in this heat and get worn out working, it comes right back to haunt me. Any recommendations?
0 likes, 14 replies
Posted 4 years ago
Hello. I can appreciate your position. Its a nightmare when it keeps coming back. For me, it has been more of an issue with fatigue than anything else. From researching the issue, it does seem to be the case that some people get recurrences due to a weakened immune system, I had a number of tests done and no issues with immunity were identified, so it seems that there is still a bit of an unknown/random factor with Shingles. I’ve spoken to a friend who is a doctor and the only advice is to work on general lifestyle – diet, exercise and fresh air.
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How Does It Occur
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.
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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Shingles And Postherpetic Neuralgia: What Are The Risk Factors
You can’t control whether you’ll catch the chickenpox virus. Fully 99.5% of adults in the U.S. carry it, whether or not they remember having had chickenpox. But why do one-third of those people get shingles — and some of them go on to develop postherpetic neuralgia?
The risk of postherpetic neuralgia also goes up with age. More than 80% of cases of postherpetic neuralgia occur in people over 50 years old. “It’s likely that the natural decline of immunity with age is responsible,” says Ralph.
The results of one study showed that age had a huge effect on the risk for postherpetic neuralgia after shingles:
- Among people under 60 years old who had shingles, less than one in 50 developed postherpetic neuralgia.
- In people aged 60 to 69, about 7% of shingles sufferers developed postherpetic neuralgia.
- In those age 70 and older, almost 20% developed postherpetic neuralgia after a bout of shingles.
Race seems to matter, too. For unknown reasons, white Americans get shingles and postherpetic neuralgia at more than twice the rate of African-Americans in their age group.
“People whose immune systems are impaired by drugs or diseases like AIDS are also more prone to zoster and PHN,” adds Ralph.
Exposure to someone with chickenpox or shingles does not increase your personal risk, however. In fact, experts believe that the slight immune stimulation may boost natural defenses, making you less likely to develop shingles or PHN.
Treating The Pain Of Phn
Exactly how best to deal with the pain is a difficult question. Rice led a research team that looked at 35 clinical trials of various treatments. The findings appear in the July issue of the free-access online journal PloS Medicine.
“The most important thing to realize is these are painkillers,” Rice says. “You are treating the pain, not the disease itself. And this is due to permanent nerve damage. It is like a stroke. We can’t make the nerve damage better, but we can treat the disability. And for PHN, pain is one of those disabilities.”
What helps? Rice’s team found good evidence supporting:
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How Eye Shingles Are Treated
You do not have to endure shingles. With the help of your doctor, you can overcome the discomfort and help the outbreak to heal. You can also take some steps to reduce the frequency and severity of your outbreaks.
The key is to get help within three days of the start of an outbreak. That is the moment at which your immune system is still strong but could use a little boost. Antiviral medications can tamp down the virus and send it back to the nerve root, so you will feel a bit more comfortable.
You will still be at risk for future outbreaks, as shingles can’t be cured. But the treatment can keep the excruciating pain and damage at bay.
Your doctor may ask you to spend a few days in the hospital. You will get around-the-clock care for your outbreak, and your doctor can watch the infection carefully and step in if sight-stealing complications appear.
When you are released to your home, there are plenty of things you can do to ease your discomfort. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends:
- Cool compresses. A moist, damp towel placed over your closed eyes can relieve some of your pain.
- Painkillers. If your doctor agrees, you can use medications like aspirin to ease distress.
- Eye drops. Your doctor may suggest soothing drops to help your tissues knit back together.
How Long Can Postherpetic Neuralgia Phn Last
Whats truly frightening about PHN is that it can last as little as a few weeks but as much as years.
So 4 to 6 weeks of painful, exhausting shingles isnt necessarily the end of the story. In fact, for too many people its the start of something truly horrific.
PHN can last months or years. Out of every 100 people who get shingles, two of them will suffer PHN for 5 years.
Having seen my brother nearly crushed by it over 8 months I understand why people who suffer its unrelenting pain for years often end up with serious mental health challenges.
Each time you have shingles you run a real risk of PHN straight afterward. Which is one of the strongest reasons I can think of to absolutely not want the illness a second time?
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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.
What Can I Do For The Pain
To help with the pain of shingles, your doctor might have you take an over-the-counter pain medicine. This could include acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
Applying a medicated anti-itch lotion to the blisters might reduce the pain and itching. Placing cool compresses soaked in water mixed with white vinegar on the blisters and sores might also help.
If shingles causes severe pain, your doctor might prescribe a stronger pain medicine.
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What Are The Symptoms
Shingles symptoms happen in stages. At first you may have a headache or be sensitive to light. You may also feel like you have the flu.
Later, you may feel itching, tingling, or pain in a certain area. That’s where a band, strip, or small area of rash may occur a few days later. The rash turns into clusters of blisters. The blisters fill with fluid and then crust over. It takes 2 to 4 weeks for the blisters to heal, and they may leave scars. Some people only get a mild rash. And some do not get a rash at all.
It’s possible that you could also feel dizzy or weak. Or you could have pain or a rash on your face, changes in your vision, changes in how well you can think, or a rash that spreads. A rash or blisters on your face, especially near an eye or on the tip of your nose, can be a warning of eye problems.
if you think you may have shingles. It’s best to get early treatment. Medicine can help your symptoms get better sooner. And if you have shingles near your eye or nose, see your doctor right away. Shingles that gets into the eye can cause permanent eye damage.
How To Get Rid Of Shingles Fast
Remember that time I got shingles on the face? I know I wont be forgetting that experience anytime soonFor anyone who has had or currently has shingles, you know this is a pain you wont soon forget. They call it adult chickenpox, but I can assure you its far worse than chickenpox ever was.
Im going to skip over the whole medical diagnosis part since your doctor should probably be the one doing that but instead describe my personal experience with shingles I.e. herpes zoster and how to recover from shingles quickly.
The first thing I did when I got diagnosed, was immediately take to the internet to see if anyone had helpful tips for healing shingles. I read a lot of shingles horror stories, some not-so-horror stories but also some really productive tips. Im hoping this post can be that for some of you. Or if you have a friend or family member suffering, feel free to pass onto them. We got this!
So, first things first
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How I Avoided Shingles Horror
Let me tell you how Julissa Clays program achieves what it does and youll see for yourself.
Youre possibly aware that shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
Remember chickenpox? The varicella-zoster virus has been with you since you got rid of that illness which was possible decades ago.
Our immune systems beat and then suppress the virus so that it no longer harms us. However, the virus still lies dormant in our nerve cells. Our immune system keeps it in check so that it does us no further harm.
However, if the immune system falters the varicella-zoster virus reactivates. And shingles are the result.
Most people had chickenpox when they were young. They, therefore, carry the varicella-zoster virus. Many never go on to get shingles. Their immune system wins out and varicella-zoster remains dormant for life, never getting the chance to resurface.
Many others do get the illness. Millions every year, in fact. Im one of those people. You are too. Basically, our immune system fought a losing battle and the virus has run rampant throughout the nervous system.
If youre suffering right now I dont need to describe the consequences of this.
But, as you now realize, its not only the suffering we go through in the first 4 6 weeks that causes problems. The mix of a weakened immune system and a system-wide attack on nerves is very dangerous.
Shingles lead to complications with intensely painful PHN its most common complication.
Heres What To Do Next
Use the hidden triggers I just listed off as a guide to help you get to your unique combination of skin rash root causes.
But if this is overwhelming and youve already spent tons of time trying to figure this out without success, its time to ask for help.
You dont have to continue to suffer alone.
I know because Ive been theresuffering with what seemed like unending hand eczema that I finally solved!
And I work with a lot of other chronic skin rash sufferers who are fed up with the ineffective treatments offered to them. If thats you, I invite you to schedule a Skin Repair Strategy Session with me.
During this private time, well drill down to identify root causes youre at risk for and what to do next.
And the greatest part is that it doesnt matter where you live since my practice is virtual and theres no need to travel!
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