Sunday, February 25, 2024

What Causes Shingles To Occur

Can I Catch Or Spread Shingles

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

Not exactly.

If you have shingles, the varicella-zoster virus can spread to someone else who comes into direct contact with the fluid from your blisters. But if that happens, the person you infect would develop chickenpox, not shingles. That person could later develop shingles. The lesions are considered non-infectious after crusting .

Can You Get Shingles From The Covid

There have been a few reports of shingles happening in people who were vaccinated against COVID-19. The varicella-zoster virus was reactivated in these people.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If youve had chickenpox, youre at risk of developing shingles later in life. Shingles causes a rash that is contagious and painful. The disease can have serious complications. The best thing you can do to reduce your risk is to get the shingles vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective.

What Does Sciatica Pain Feel Like

People describe sciatica pain in different ways, depending on its cause. Some people describe the pain as sharp, shooting, or jolts of pain. Others describe this pain as burning, âelectric or stabbing.

The pain may be constant or may come and go. Also, the pain is usually more severe in your leg compared to your lower back. The pain may feel worse if you sit or stand for long periods of time, when you stand up and when your twist your upper body. A forced and sudden body movement, like a cough or sneeze, can also make the pain worse.

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What Are The Symptoms

The first sign of shingles is often burning, sharp pain, tingling, or numbness in your skin on one side of your body or face. The most common site is the back or upper abdomen. You may have severe itching or aching. You also may feel tired and ill with fever, chills, headache, and upset stomach or belly pain.

One to 14 days after you start feeling pain, you will notice a rash of small blisters on reddened skin. Within a few days after they appear, the blisters will turn yellow, then dry and crust over. Over the next 2 weeks the crusts drop off, and the skin continues to heal over the next several days to weeks.

Because shingles usually follows nerve paths, the blisters are usually found in a line, often extending from the back or side around to the belly. The blisters are almost always on just one side of the body. Shingles usually doesn’t cross the midline of the body. The rash also may appear on one side of your face or scalp. The painful rash may be in the area of your ear or eye. When shingles occurs on the head or scalp, symptoms can include headaches and weakness of one side of the face, which causes that side of the face to look droopy. The symptoms usually go away eventually, but it may take many months.

In some cases the pain can last for weeks, months, or years, long after the rash heals. This is called postherpetic neuralgia.

When To See A Doctor

Medical Shingles Pictures  54 Photos &  Images / illnessee.com

Getting treatment shortly after the onset of symptoms can help decrease the duration and severity of infection.

This is especially important for people over 60 and those who have a weakened immune system, as this could increase the risk of developing serious complications.

If the rash continues spreading to other parts of the body or other symptoms occur, such as high fever, it is best to consult with a doctor.

Additionally, those who develop a rash near the eye should seek immediate medical attention, as this can be a sign of HZO. The condition can cause scarring, vision loss, and permanent eye damage if left untreated.

causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the sensory ganglia of their cranial nerve or the dorsal root ganglia within the peripheral nervous system.

VZV belongs to a group of viruses called herpes viruses. This is why shingles also has the name herpes zoster.

All herpes viruses can hide in the nervous system, where they can remain indefinitely in a latent state.

Under the right conditions, the herpes zoster virus can reactivate, similarly to waking up from hibernation, and travel down nerve fibers to cause a new active infection.

What triggers this is not usually clear, but it may happen when something weakens the immune system, prompting the virus to reactivate.

If this happens, and the person has not received a vaccination against chickenpox, they would develop chickenpox first, not shingles.

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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.

See A Pain Management Specialist

Sometimes the nerve pain is just too intense to manage on your own. If youre experiencing moderate to severe shingles pain, see a pain management specialist for treatment options to help you stay comfortable while you heal.

If youre suffering from shingles related pain and nerve damage, we can help. For more information, contact Republic Spine and Pain to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Austin, Georgetown, or Lakeway, Texas.

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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.

Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem

Shingles – The causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention

The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.

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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.

Is There A Vaccine Against Shingles

Shingix is currently the only shingles vaccine available in the United States. Its given to people over age 50.

Previously, an additional vaccine, Zostavax, was used, but it was phased out in the United States as of November 2020.

According to the CDC, two doses of Shingrix are over 90 percent effective at preventing shingles. Youll retain at least 85 percent protection for 4 years after being vaccinated.

If you get shingles after being vaccinated, your symptoms will likely be less severe. Youll also have a lower chance of developing postherpetic neuralgia a complication where pain remains even after a shingles rash goes away.

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.

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What Is The Treatment For Shingles And Recurring Shingles

The treatment for recurring shingles is the same as for shingles.

If you suspect that you have recurring shingles, see your doctor as soon as possible. Taking an antiviral drug like acyclovir , valacyclovir , or famciclovir can reduce the severity of shingles and reduce how long it lasts.

Your doctor may also prescribe medications to lessen your pain and help you sleep. These include the following:

  • Skin patches with the painkiller lidocaine are available. You can wear them on the affected area for a specific length of time.
  • Skin patches that have 8 percent capsaicin, an extract of chili peppers, are available. Some people cannot tolerate the burning sensation, even though the skin is numb before the patch is put on.
  • Antiseizure drugs, such as gabapentin and pregabalin , reduce pain by reducing the nerve activity. They have side effects that may limit the amount of the drug that you can tolerate.
  • Antidepressants such as duloxetine and nortriptyline can be useful, especially to relieve pain and allow you to sleep.
  • Opioid painkillers can relieve pain, but they have side effects, such as dizziness and confusion, and they can become addictive.

You can also take cool baths with colloidal oatmeal to ease the itching, or apply cold compresses to the affected area. Rest and stress reduction are also important.

Shingles: What Triggers This Painful Burning Rash

Can You Get Shingles Without A Rash

If youre like 95% of American adults, you had chickenpox as a kid. Before the United States started its widespread vaccination program in 1995, there were roughly four million cases of chickenpox every year. So, most people suffered through an infection with this highly contagious virus and its itchy, whole-body rash.

But unlike many childhood viruses, the varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox doesnt clear from the body when the illness ends. Instead it hangs around, taking up residence and lying dormant in the nerves, sometimes for decades, with the immune system holding it in check. In some people, it lives there harmlessly for the rest of their life. But in others, the virus can suddenly emerge and strike again, this time appearing as a different condition known as shingles.

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Ive had chickenpox. Am I at risk of developing shingles?
  • What is the best treatment for my shingles?
  • The pain from shingles isnt going away. What can I do to make myself more comfortable?
  • Im on treatment for shingles. When should I call my doctor if things dont get better?
  • I have shingles and my children havent had the chickenpox vaccine. Should I get them vaccinated?
  • Is the shingles vaccine right for me?
  • Are there any risks associated with the shingles vaccine?
  • Will my post-herpetic neuralgia ever go away?
  • If Ive never had the chickenpox, should I still get the shingles vaccination?

What Is Hair Replacement Surgery

We offer several hair replacement techniques at UCLA Dermatology, although hair replacement surgery cannot help those who suffer from total baldness. Candidates for hair replacement must have a healthy growth of hair at the back and sides of the head. This hair will serve as hair donor areas where grafts and flaps will be taken.

We offer four primary different types of hair replacement methods:

Possible complications associated with hair transplantation procedures may include the following:

  • Patchy hair growth: Sometimes, the growth of newly placed hair has a patchy look, especially if it is placed next to a thinning area. This issue can often be corrected by additional surgery.
  • Bleeding or wide scars: Tension on the scalp from some of the scalp reduction techniques can result in wide scars or bleeding.
  • Unsuccessful grafts: Occasionally, there is a chance that the graft may not âtake.â If this is the case, surgery must be repeated.
  • Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is the risk of infection.

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Causes And Risk Factors Of Shingles

The varicella-zoster virus the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles is part of a group of viruses called herpes viruses. This group also includes the viruses that cause cold sores and genital herpes.

But the varicella-zoster virus is not the same virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes. The viruses that cause oral and genital herpes are herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2.

If youve had chicken pox, you can get shingles. After the chicken pox is over, varicella-zoster lies inactive, mainly in spinal or cranial nerves. Sometimes the virus reactivates, and thats when it travels along the nerves to erupt as a rash on your skin, causing shingles.

If Ive Been Vaccinated For Chickenpox Can I Still Develop Shingles Later In Life

Mayo Clinic Minute: Don’t suffer with shingles

Unfortunately, yes, despite being vaccinated for chickenpox, you can still get shingles. No vaccine is 100% protective and the effects of vaccines lessen 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 did not.

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Stay Away From Certain Groups Of People If You Have Shingles

You cannot spread shingles to others. But people who have not had chickenpox before could catch chickenpox from you.

This is because shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus.

Try to avoid:

  • pregnant people who have not had chickenpox before
  • people with a weakened immune system like someone having chemotherapy
  • babies less than 1 month old unless you gave birth to them, as your baby should be protected from the virus by your immune system

Have A Rash Go To The Doctor

If you think you might have shingles, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Its important to see your doctor no later than three days after the rash starts. The doctor will confirm whether or not you have shingles and can make a treatment plan. If you have a condition that weakens the immune system, the doctor may give you a shingles test. The shingles test can also help doctors diagnose shingles in people who dont have a rash. Although there is no cure for shingles, early treatment with drugs that fight the virus can help the blisters dry up faster and limit severe pain. Shingles can often be treated at home. People with shingles rarely need to stay in a hospital.

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When Should You Call Your Doctor

if you:

  • Have a rash or blisters on your face, especially near an eye or on the tip of your nose. This can be a warning of eye problems. Treatment can help prevent permanent eye damage.
  • Think you have shingles. Early treatment with antiviral medicines may help reduce pain and prevent complications of shingles, such as disseminated zoster or postherpetic neuralgia .

If you still feel intense pain for more than 1 month after the skin heals, see your doctor to find out if you have PHN. Getting your pain under control right away may prevent nerve damage that may cause pain that lasts for months or years.

When Should I See My Doctor

Medical Shingles Pictures  54 Photos &  Images / illnessee.com

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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Higher Intensity Of Pain With Internal Shingles

While both regular shingles and internal shingles can cause preherpetic neuralgia, this condition has been found to be more severe in the latter case.

One study found that at the onset of symptoms, after one month, and after three months, internal shingles patients had consistently more severe and persistent pain. Overall, however, preherpetic neuralgia occurs much more frequently in regular herpes zoster patients.

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