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What Causes Shingles On Your Body

Can I Get Shingles If I Havent Had Chickenpox

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

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.

Treatment Of Shingles On Buttocks

People usually overcome singles within two to six weeks, but there are several treatment methods for this disease that can ease and speed-up recovery. If the disease is getting out of hand, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Once shingles are diagnosed, the doctor is likely to prescribe antiviral drugs, or other medication to relieve the symptoms.

In case your shingles are moderate and you think you would be able to handle the pain by yourself, there are some excellent home remedies available for treating shingles, like Calamine. You can even use cooling compresses on the area where the pain or itching of shingles is getting worse.

People with weak immune systems such as those who have HIV, leukemia and those who have been prescribed drugs, including steroids, might be more prone to the looming threat of shingles than others.

Shingles are buttocks nights and sound scary to begin with, but with abundant information and treatment procedures available everywhere, you can get well in no time. Besides, shingles vaccination has also become a very common solution nowadays. The vaccination is known as Shingrix, but people with weak immune systems are advised not to take it.

What Specialists Treat Shingles

Primary care physicians, including internal medicine specialists, family medicine specialists and/or specialists in infectious diseases, can appropriately treat some patients. An emergency medicine physician may start the initial care. However, if there is a chance the eye may be involved, an ophthalmologist should be consulted. If a person is pregnant and gets shingles, they should consult with their ob-gyn physician immediately. For long-term or chronic pain involved in postherpetic neuralgia, a neurologist and/or pain specialists may be involved in the care of the patient.

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Myth: Shingles Will Heal By Itself

Sometimes home remedies are sufficient to treat shingles. This normally involves over-the-counter analgesics to manage the pain, and emollient creams or calamine lotion to soothe itching. Wearing loose clothing and covering the blisters with a non-adherent dressing can help, as can using a cold compress on the affected area.

But some cases of shingles require additional treatment, so its worth seeing your GP. If the pain is particularly severe, your doctor might prescribe stronger painkillers, such as a type thats effective in targeting nerve pain.

Suspected shingles sufferers should at least speak to their GP and may need to be seen to confirm or rule out the diagnosis, but also to discuss treatment, comments Dr Keith Hopcroft, a GP in Essex.

Some people also need antiviral medication, which doesnt kill the virus but can limit its severity if treatment is started within three days of the rash appearing. Its more likely that antiviral medication will be prescribed if youre over 50, if you have shingles on any part of the body apart from the torso, or if your pain or rash is severe.

Shingles in certain areas notably around the eye can cause complications, which would require advice from a doctor, Hopcroft adds.

What Increases Your Risk

Ontario should fund shingles vaccine: Editorial

Things that increase risk for shingles include:

  • Having had chickenpox. You must have had chickenpox to get shingles.
  • Being older than 50.
  • Having a weakened immune system due to another disease, such as diabetes or HIV infection.
  • Experiencing stress or trauma.
  • Having cancer or receiving treatment for cancer.
  • Taking medicines that affect your immune system, such as steroids or medicines that are taken after having an organ transplant.

If a pregnant woman gets chickenpox, her baby has a high risk for shingles during his or her first 2 years of life. And if a baby gets chickenpox in the first year of life, he or she has a higher risk for shingles during childhood.footnote 1

Post-herpetic neuralgia is a common complication of shingles that lasts for at least 30 days and may continue for months or years. You can reduce your risk for getting shingles and developing PHN by getting the shingles vaccine.

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Are There Natural Ways To Boost The Immune System To Help Lessen The Chances Of Developing Shingles

Stress is a risk factor for developing shingles. So limiting your stress can be helpful. Try meditation, yoga or other relaxation methods. Eat healthy, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, dont smoke these are all good living tips, not just for reducing your chance of getting shingles, but also many other diseases and health conditions too.

Psoriasis Forms Red Patches On The Skin

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that is easy to confuse with the shingles rash. As with the shingles virus, psoriasis forms red patches on the skin, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. One type of psoriasis pustular can lead to the development of blisters. Areas of skin affected by psoriasis often develop into silvery scales on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Treatment can help control the condition.

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What Are Shingles Symptoms Causes And Treatment

Herpes zoster or shingles is a disease in which small watery pimples appear on our skin. In this disease, many grains come out simultaneously on the same side of the patients body. It has been revealed in many research that after 40 it is more likely to happen. It is likely to cause terrible pain.

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

Shingles: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, 3 stages of Infection, Complications, Management, Animation.

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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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.

What Is The Outlook For People With Shingles

Shingles usually follows a pattern of development. It typically progresses with the following symptoms:

  • First, you may notice a tingling or burning sensation in your skin.
  • One to 5 days later a rash appears as small red spots.
  • Fluid-filled blisters develop a few days later.
  • After 7 to 10 days, the lesions crust over.
  • The rash disappears over the next 2 to 4 weeks.

In some cases, pain may persist for several months or even years after the rash has disappeared. This complication, known as postherpetic neuralgia , can be severe enough to affect your quality of life.

Certain antiseizure medications can help manage the pain. Gabapentin and pregabalin are two that are commonly used.

Its unlikely to get shingles more than once but its possible. Thats why its recommended to get the shingles vaccine at age 50 and older, even if youve already had the disease. Getting shingles three times is extremely rare.

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Virus Reactivation And Symptoms

When the virus re-emerges, it typically reactivates in clusters of nerve cells in the peripheral nervous system called a sensory ganglion. The ganglia most likely to host varicella are those in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

Varicella also often affects the trigeminal ganglion, which provides sensation to the face. As its name suggests, this particular clump of nerves has three branches. The one associated with eye function, the ophthalmic branch, is 20 times more likely than the other two to be affected.

Since the nervous system consists of tree-like branches of nerves, the blisters will follow the particular path of the nerves affected. That’s why a shingles rash often resembles a swath of blisters in a very specific area, rather than spread all over the body .

The area with the particular nerve cells in which the virus reawakens is where the shingles symptomsextreme pain and rashwill be concentrated.

This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

Along with the rash, symptoms of shingles may include:

For several days before the rash appears, you may have tingling, itching, or pain in the affected area.

What Should You Expect If You Get Shingles

Can You Get Shingles More Than Once?

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.

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How To Prevent Shingles: Get Vaccinated

Two vaccines may help prevent the shingles virus: the chickenpox vaccine and the shingles vaccine. The shingles vaccine is approved for adults ages 50 and older and for those 18 and older with weakened immune systems or at increased risk of herpes zoster because of a disease or treatment, according to the CDC.

Per the CDC, talk to your doctor about getting a shingles vaccination if you are 50 or older or if you have the following risk factors:

  • You have cancer, especially leukemia or lymphoma.
  • You are a bone marrow or solid organ transplant recipient.
  • You take immunosuppressive medications, including steroids, chemotherapy, or transplant-related medications.

Are There Complications Of Shingles

Shingles can have complications that last long after the rash is gone, including:

  • Brain inflammation or facial paralysis if it affects certain nerves
  • Eye problems and vision loss if your rash was in or around your eye
  • Pain that lasts long after the outbreak, called postherpetic neuralgia. It affects up to 1 in 5 people who get shingles.

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Can Shingles Cause Chronic Pain

In some people, the pain of shingles may linger for months or even years after the rash has healed. This pain, due to damaged nerves in and beneath the skin, is known as postherpetic neuralgia. Others feel a chronic itch in the area where the rash once was. In severe cases, the pain or itching may be bad enough to cause insomnia, weight loss, or depression.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

How Can You Prevent Shingles
  • If you suspect shingles
  • Within 3 days of getting the rash, to prevent lasting nerve pain
  • If the rash and pain are near an eye, which can cause permanent eye damage
  • If you’re over age 60 due to an increased risk of complications
  • If you have a weakened or suppressed immune system or someone close to you does

Shingles Doctor Discussion Guide

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General Measures To Alleviate Shingles Symptoms

Loose-fitting cotton clothes are best to reduce irritating the affected area of skin. Pain may be eased by cooling the affected area with ice cubes , wet dressings, or a cool bath. A non-adherent dressing that covers the rash when it is blistered and raw may help to reduce pain caused by contact with clothing. Simple creams may be helpful if the rash is itchy. Calamine lotion can help to cool the skin and reduce mild itchiness.

Shingles Vs Other Skin Conditions

Shingles is different from other conditions in several ways:

  • People may experience pain, including burning, tingling, or electrical sensations on their skin for 1 to 2 days before the rash develops.
  • The shingles rash looks like a group of small blisters or lesions.
  • The rash usually develops in one area, not as patches of blisters in different areas on the face.
  • Shingles usually affects just one side of the face.
  • Makeup, sun exposure, or an allergy do not trigger shingles.
  • Shingles will not spread from one area of the body through contact, unlike some other rashes.
  • Some people develop more lesions after the initial outbreak. These blisters might be near the location of the first rash, or somewhere else.
  • The rash begins as sore blisters that may then crack, bleed, and scab over.
  • Shingles lasts 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Shingles sometimes causes other symptoms, such as a fever, headache, muscle aches, and stomach pain or vomiting.
  • Only people who have previously had chickenpox can get shingles.

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Does Stress Increase My Risk Of Shingles

Stress may increase your risk of shingles, however age is the most important risk factor for developing shingles, as most cases of shingles occur in adults 50 years and older.

Hidden Text

Im up for almost anything somebody wants to try, whether its something old or new, Im in. But not when I had shingles. I was out. Do anything you can not to get it.

Pat Knaust,former shingles sufferer and GSK spokesperson

Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 As Soon As You Suspect Shingles

Can You Get Shingles Without A Rash

You might need medicine to help speed up your recovery and avoid longer-lasting problems.

This works best if taken within 3 days of your symptoms starting.

111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or .

Get an urgent GP appointment

A GP may be able to treat you.

Ask your GP surgery for an urgent appointment.

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Shingles On Scalp And Ear Pain

A rash is the most common symptom of shingles on scalp. The pain from rash behind the ear and on the scalp is felt like sharp stabbing knives. Ear pain or hearing difficulties is a complication you may develop when the condition is not diagnosed in time. This condition is however curable and the following are some of the treatments that might be administered

  • Cold compressing- this helps to soothe and relieve pain in the ear
  • Use of pain relievers such as non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications
  • Ear drops for relieving itching and irritation inside the ear.

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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Why Would Shingles Only Develop On Your Legs

A shingles rash typically appears in a small, localized body area and might develop only on the legs, according to WebMD. The rash usually is limited to one side of the body in a band, strip or patch, but multiple patches sometimes occur.

Shingles occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates, often due to stress, illness, injury or age, explains WebMD. The first symptoms include a headache, sensitivity to light and flu-like symptoms. A tingling sensation, mild pain or numbness then develops on the skin in a localized area of the body. The chest and back are the most common areas for shingles to occur, but the head, stomach, face, arm and leg are all possible sites for the rash.

Some patients develop a stomach ache and diarrhea, or swollen lymph nodes before or as the rash occurs, states WebMD. The rash starts with the eruption of small blisters filled with clear fluid. The rash feels more painful than itchy. Some patients describe it as a pins and needles feeling. After five days the blisters start to crust over and heal. The total duration is two to four weeks. A shingles rash in the eye area requires medical care to avoid possible complications.

Measles Rash Looks Like Flat Red Spots

Med Talk, Health Talk: Shingles

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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