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What Age Can You Get Shingles

What Is The Best Age To Get A Shingles Vaccine

Getting Shingles at a younger age
  • What Is the Best Age to Get a Shingles Vaccine? Topic Guide
  • The Centers for Disease Control recommends adults 50 years and older receive the shingles vaccine to reduce the chance of developing shingles.

    Adults 19 years and older with weakened immune systems should also get two doses of shingles vaccine, due to a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine.

    Is The Zostavax Vaccine Still Being Used

    Yes. The CDC, however, recommends Zostavax for adults age 60 and older, but not routinely for people aged 50 to 59. Zostavax is given as a single-dose shot versus the two-dose shot for Shingrix. Zostavax is less effective than Shingrix in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia .

    You can consider Zostavax if you are allergic to Shingrix or if Shingrix is unavailable because of supply shortage and you want some immediate protection from a possible case of shingles and/or postherpetic neuralgia. Because its a weakened live vaccine, it may be dangerous if you have cancer, HIV, or take steroids, chemotherapy or other medications that suppress your immune system. Ask your healthcare provider if the Zostavax vaccine is an option for you.

    Age And Weak Immune System Increase Your Risk Of Getting Shingles

    Although anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles, your risk of developing shingles increases with age. Most people get shingles in their 50s or later in life.

    Its rare to get shingles before 40 years of age. Scientists are still studying why this happens. Its likely that your immune system keeps the virus dormant. When the immune system starts to weaken, which may start in your 50s, the virus can wake up.

    Age increases your risk of getting shingles

    Many people who had chickenpox dont remember having it and are unaware that they can get shingles.

    Anyone who has a weakened immune system also has an increased risk of getting shingles. This includes people who have:

    • Some cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma

    • Human immunodeficiency virus

    • To take medication that suppresses the immune system, such as people living with an organ transplant, severe psoriasis, or advanced psoriatic arthritis

    • To receive certain cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy

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    Shingles Vaccination What You Should Know:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends shingles vaccine for people 60 years of age and older. This is a one-time vaccination to prevent shingles. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine.

    Anyone 60 years of age or older should get the shingles vaccine, regardless of whether they recall having had chickenpox or not. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans ages 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember getting the disease.

    Your risk for getting shingles begins to rise around age 50. However, shingles vaccine is only recommended for persons age 60 and older because the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine have only been studied in this age group.

    Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific time that you must wait after having shingles before receiving the shingles vaccine. The decision on when to get vaccinated should be made with your healthcare provider. Generally, a person should make sure that the shingles rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated.

    Main Complications Of Shingles

    Shingles Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Vaccine Facts

    Shingles may cause health complications like Post-herpetic neuralgia and Herpes zoster ophthalmicus . Post-herpetic neuralgia can occur when shingles pain persists even after the rash has faded. Its caused by damaged nerve fibers on the skin that create discomfort. You’re more prone to get severe post-herpetic neuralgia as you get older.

    In severe circumstances, if a shingle rash appears on your face, your cornea may be damaged, affecting your vision.

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    How Long Does Shingles Last

    Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks.

    • The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
    • Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
    • A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
    • About one week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
    • A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.

    The Risk Of Shingles For People In Their 20s 30s And 40s

    In 1995, the chickenpox vaccine became available in the U.S. for children ages 12 months and older. This means that people born before then could have gotten chickenpox as children or might not remember if they were vaccinated.

    “This is probably why we occasionally see shingles cases in younger patients,” Dr. Thomassian says. “If you were born in the ’70s or early ’80s, presumably you had chickenpox when you were younger and it wouldn’t be much of a shock if you got shingles.

    “But I’ve also had patients born in the late ’80s and early ’90s who contracted shingles and we ask them, ‘Do you know if you’ve been vaccinated?’ Some of them know they were not vaccinatedsome of them don’t know if they had chickenpox or not.”

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    How Long Does A Shingles Outbreak Last

    It can take three to five weeks from the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash totally disappears.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing or shooting. This usually happens before the rash comes.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of your body. The rash usually appears around your waistline or on one side of your face, neck, or on the trunk , but not always. It can occur in other areas including your arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
  • Are There Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System To Help Lessen The Chances Of Developing Shingles

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

    Stress is a risk factor for developing shingles, so limiting your stress can be helpful. Try meditation, yoga or other relaxation methods.

    Other things you can do include:

    • Eat a healthy diet.
    • Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
    • Dont smoke or use tobacco products.

    These are all tips for an overall healthy lifestyle, not just for reducing your chance of getting shingles.

    Read Also: What Age Can I Get The Shingles Vaccine

    If Youre 50 Or Older Get Shingrix

    • Shingrix provides strong protection from shingles and long-term nerve pain.
    • Get Shingrix even if you already had shingles, because you can get the disease more than once.
    • Your risk of shingles and complications increases as you age.
    • You need 2 doses of Shingrix. Get the second dose 2 to 6 months after you get the first dose.

    When Should I See A Doctor Because Of The Side Effects I Experience From Shingrix

    Shingrix causes a strong response in your immune system, so it may produce short-term side effects. These side effects can be uncomfortable, but they are expected and usually go away on their own in 2 or 3 days. You may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Contact your healthcare provider if the symptoms are not improving or if they are getting worse.

    In clinical trials, Shingrix was not associated with serious adverse events. In fact, serious side effects from vaccines are extremely rare. For example, for every 1 million doses of a vaccine given, only one or two people might have a severe allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction happen within minutes or hours after vaccination and include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness. If you experience these or any other life-threatening symptoms, see a doctor right away.

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    Is There A Vaccine For Shingles

    There are two shingles vaccines currently available, Shingrix and Zostavax. Shingrix vaccine, a newer vaccine, is preferred over Zostavax for the prevention of shingles and its complications. Two doses of Shingrix given 2 to 6 months apart are recommended for healthy adults 50 years of age and older. Shingrix is also recommended for adults who have previously received Zostavax. A single dose of Zostavax may still be used to prevent shingles in certain cases for healthy adults 60 years and older.

    Can You Still Develop Shingles If Youve Been Vaccinated For Chickenpox

    Experts sound alarm over shingles

    Yes. Despite being vaccinated for chickenpox, you can still get shingles. No vaccine is 100% protective, and the effectiveness of vaccines lessens with time. However, people who get the chickenpox vaccine are significantly less likely to develop shingles later in life compared with people who never received the chickenpox vaccine. One recent 12-year study found that the number of shingles cases was 72% lower in children who had received the chickenpox vaccine compared with those who didnt.

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    What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingrix

    Studies show that Shingrix is safe. The vaccine helps your body create a strong defense against shingles. As a result, you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots. The side effects might affect your ability to do normal daily activities for 2 to 3 days.

    Most people got a sore arm with mild or moderate pain after getting Shingrix, and some also had redness and swelling where they got the shot. Some people felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. Some people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities. Symptoms went away on their own in about 2 to 3 days. Side effects were more common in younger people.

    You might have a reaction to the first or second dose of Shingrix, or both doses. If you experience side effects, you may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

    Guillain-Barré syndrome , a serious nervous system disorder, has been reported very rarely after Shingrix. There is also a very small increased risk of GBS after having shingles.

    If you experience side effects from Shingrix, you should report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS websiteexternal icon, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

    If you have any questions about side effects from Shingrix, talk with your doctor.

    What Is The Brand Name Of The Shingles Vaccine

    There are 2 shingles vaccines used in the UK:

    • Zostavax, a live vaccine given as 1 dose
    • Shingrix, a non-live vaccine given as 2 doses, 2 months apart

    Most people will have the Zostavax vaccine. The Shingrix vaccine is recommended if Zostavax is not suitable for you, for example if you have a condition that affects your immune system.

    You can read more about the shingles vaccines in the patient information leaflets:

    Also Check: Can You Have Shingles All Over Your Body

    What Problems Can Happen

    Most cases of shingles heal on their own, with or without treatment, and won’t lead to any other problems. In rare cases, shingles can lead to complications, including:

    • Ongoing pain : Damaged nerve fibers in the skin send confused messages to the brain, leading to pain. Pain can go on for a long time after the shingles rash is gone. This is the most common shingles complication.
    • Vision problems: Shingles near or in an eye can lead to vision loss.
    • Skin infections: A shingles rash can become infected with bacteria, leading to impetigo or cellulitis.
    • Nervous system problems: Shingles on the face can involve different nerves that connect to the brain. This can lead to nerve-related problems such as facial paralysis, hearing problems, and problems with balance. In very rare cases, shingles can lead to encephalitis .

    Is There Anyone Who Should Not Have The Shingles Vaccination

    Shingles (Herpes Zoster): Pathophysiology, Risk Factors, Phases of Infection, Symptoms, Treatment

    There are 2 shingles vaccines available in the UK:

    • Zostavax, a live vaccine given as 1 dose
    • Shingrix, a non-live vaccine given as 2 doses

    If Zostavax is not suitable for you, a GP or practice nurse will decide whether to offer you Shingrix instead.

    You should not have the shingles vaccine if you’ve had a serious allergic reaction in the past to a previous dose of the shingles vaccine, or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine, or to a previous dose of varicella vaccine.

    If you have a weakened immune system a GP or practice nurse will assess which vaccine is suitable for you. Discuss any health concerns with the GP or practice nurse before you have the vaccine.

    Zostavax is not suitable for people who have a weakened immune system due to a condition, treatment or medicine.

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    The Link Between Crohns Disease And Shingles

    If you’ve never had chicken pox, as a child or as an adult, and you’re exposed to the virus let’s say you touch someone at the contagious, blister stage of shingles transmission could occur and you’d get chicken pox.

    If you haven’t had chicken pox, you can’t get shingles. But someone who has never had chicken pox or been vaccinated for it can contract chicken pox through close contact with someone who has shingles.

    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

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    Who Should Not Have The Vaccine

    People who should not have the shingles vaccine without first discussing it with their doctor include those who:

    • have an allergy to any component of the shingles vaccine
    • have a weakened immune system
    • are or might be pregnant

    Although anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles, some people may be at a higher risk.

    Possible risk factors and triggers include:

    Risk Factors For Shingles

    Be Aware

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , one in three people will develop shingles in their lifetime. Children who receive varicella vaccination have a lower risk of later contracting shingles compared to those who do not. Despite this, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of contracting shingles.

    These include:

    • Your age:While the incidence among younger people is on the rise, the risk of shingles increases significantly after 50 years of age. This is because the immune system’s response to identifying and fighting off pathogens becomes reduced or delayed, and decreases substantially after 65 years of age.
    • If you have an underlying health condition:Certain cancers and human immunodeficiency virus increase your risk of getting shingles. These conditions hinder the immune system’s ability to function properly.
    • If you take immunosuppressants: Immunosuppressants are drugs that reduce the immune system’s ability to fight infections. If you take immunosuppressants you are also at greater risk for developing shingles.

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    What Are Shingles Know Your Risk At Any Age

    Aug 18, 2021Rosanna Turner

    Ara Thomassian, MD

    No one expects to get shingles, but this mysterious health condition is more common than many realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about one in three people in the U.S. will develop shingles during their lifetime.

    Your risk of getting shingles increases as you age. However, younger people can still get shingles. A 2016 study revealed that shingles in Americans under age 50 quadrupled from the late 1940s to the early 2000s.

    “Traditionally, shingles is something we see in patients who are in their 50s or older,” says Dr. Ara Thomassian, a primary care physician at Cedars-Sinai. “But in the past five years, I have seen a handful of younger patients get shingles.”

    “Shingles can be contagious. People oftentimes try to put some sort of cream on the rash to treat it, but this won’t prevent the spread of a contagious virus.”

    Shingles Vaccine Reduces Your Risk Of Getting 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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