Can You Get Shingles On Your Head
Shingles can appear anywhere on your body, and this includes shingles on your head. This is a more apparent outbreak which is harder to hide but that is not the only unique trait of it. Where it manifests is a function of the track of nerve the sleeping pathogen inhabits.
- Shingles Rash and Blisters on Genital Area: Symptoms, Treatment and Pictures
- What Are The Symptoms and Causes of Shingles Virus? Early Symptoms and No Rash
If it happens to settle along a nerve responsible for sending signals to the legs, outbreaks on your leg are to be expected. If they happen to be on the facial nerve, it should come as no surprise that they appear on the head. Many people experience symptoms of shingles on the head including episodes affected the neck, ears, forehead, nose, chin, or other regions of the face.
What Problems Can Happen
Most cases of shingles heal on their own, with or without treatment, and wont 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 .
Dont Miss: How Much Are Cedar Shingles
The Most Important Tip For Shingles
I know that this is a lot of information so give yourself time to take it all in. Perhaps, more importantly take this one piece of advice: RELAX. Shingles is usually brought on by stress in your life. While I didnt think I had a lot of stress , when I listed everything on my plate its easy to see how my body was overburdened.
The biggest lesson learned through this process is how important it is to really, truly support your body. People often mentioned how lucky I was to be able to have a job that works from home, but when youre sick its easy to just reach for your phone in bed or work on a project while recovering on the couch. The boundaries are less clear. Though I did the bare minimum I needed to do, I mostly took a lot of time to rest, nap, journal, watch TV and essentially do nothing.
I would have loved to have gone on walks or been outside but the pain of the wind on my face made it impossible. I was upset over this but C reminded me that compassion is a big part of the recovery process. So even though I felt stir crazy, I also knew that going outside actually created more stress in my life. Acknowledging those stressors and putting in plans of action to eliminate or diffuse them is the key to getting over shingles.
* * * * *
Overall I can tell Im drastically improved from where I was and also have learned one of lifes most important lessons: STRESS IS REAL and it can manifest physically, so dont ignore it!
Recommended Reading: What Antiviral Medication Is Used For Shingles
When Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine
The current shingles vaccine is a safe, easy, and more effective way to prevent shingles than the previous vaccine. In fact, it is over 90% effective at preventing shingles. Most adults age 50 and older should get vaccinated with the shingles vaccine, which is given in two doses. You can get the shingles vaccine at your doctors office and at some pharmacies.
You should get the shingles vaccine if you:
- Have already had chickenpox, the chickenpox vaccine, or shingles
- Received the prior shingles vaccine called Zostavax
- Dont remember having had chickenpox
Medicare Part D and private health insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. Check with Medicare or your health plan to find out if it is covered.
You should not get vaccinated if you:
- Currently have shingles
- Are sick or have a fever
- Had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of the shingles vaccine
If you are unsure about the above criteria or have other health concerns, talk with your doctor before getting the vaccine.
Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of Your Body
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.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Shingles If You Have Not Had Chickenpox
Soothing Lotions And Creams
These lotions and creams dont speed up the healing process, but they can increase your comfort level. . You can apply topical ointments containing the natural ingredient capsaicin up to three or four times a day. This is the active ingredient in chili peppers and it contains anti-inflammatory effect to help ease the pain. When you apply the cream, the pain will increase and then go away slowly. This cream works by reducing pain signals sent to your brain.
In addition, you can apply calamine lotion after baths and showers to soothe irritated skin and help dry out blisters.
What Does Shingles On The Face Look Like
A rash may later develop and eventually produce painful blisters. The rash may have a flushed color or appearance.
The rash may appear on just one site or in several places, and it may appear on only one side of the face.
However, the appearance of a shingles rash may vary from what is typical depending on the individual.
Read Also: Owens Corning True Definition Shingles
What Are Some Common Treatments For Shingles
The CDC recommends that adults 50 years or older receive two doses of the shingles vaccine. Additionally, several antiviral medicines like acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are available to treat shingles and shorten the length and severity of the illness. These medicines are most effective when taken immediately after the rash appears.
Treatments For Scalp Conditions
Treatment for scalp conditions varies depending on the diagnosis.
Prescription medications are available to help treat hair loss. Surgical implants of hair transplants are also possible. In some cases, the underlying cause of hair loss can be treated.
Supplements or dietary changes can correct nutritional deficiencies.
Medications can treat autoimmune disorders and hormone disorders.
You can treat celiac disease by avoiding gluten in your diet.
Medicated ointments and washes that kill fungi or certain insects can cure certain infections, such as ringworm and lice.
You can treat seborrheic eczema and cradle cap with medicated shampoos.
Ito syndrome and scleroderma arent curable, but you can manage the symptoms with medications.
Read Also: Are Shingles Contagious To Others
Aloe Vera And Cayenne Pepper
Aloe Vera is a remedy rich with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also contains great antimicrobial qualities and can help in regeneration of damaged cells in the body. It also contains vitamin E that helps keep the skin moisturized and reduces itching. The following is how to apply aloe Vera to accelerate the healing of shingle rash
- Extract the aloe Vera gel from the aloe leaf, and mix it in equal amounts as cayenne pepper
- Apply the mixture on the affected area of the skin and rub gently
- Leave it on for about an hour and then rinse it off with water
- Repeat this procedure once a day- it helps stop the infection and prevent further attacks from varicella zoster virus
When Should I See My Doctor
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.
You May Like: Are New Shingle Shots Covered By Medicare
What Are Shingles Symptoms
Common symptoms of shingles are pain and a rash in a belt-like form that stops at the midline of the body affecting only one side. Symptoms of shingles progress from burning and itching sensations to severe pain at the location of the rash. Early shingles symptoms may include burning, tingling, or a numb sensation on the skin accompanied by headache, upset stomach, and chills.
Later stages include painful fluid-filled blisters that cause severe pain, fever, and severe itching.
What Are The Symptoms And Stages Shingles
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.
You May Like: When Do You Get Shingles Vaccine
How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Take a pain-relief medicine such as acetaminophen. Take other medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Put cool, moist washcloths on the rash.
- Rest in bed during the early stages if you have fever and other symptoms.
- Try not to let clothing or bed linens rub against the rash and irritate it.
- You develop worsening pain or fever.
- You develop a severe headache, stiff neck, hearing loss, or changes in your ability to think.
- The blisters show signs of bacterial infection, such as increasing pain or redness, or milky yellow drainage from the blister sites.
- The blisters are close to the eyes or you have pain in your eyes or trouble seeing.
- You have trouble walking.
How Shingles Spreads
The varicella-zoster virus can typically spread from a person with shingles to someone who has never had chickenpox. If a person has had chickenpox, they usually have antibodies against the virus in their body.
Shingles causes open, oozing blisters. The varicella-zoster virus can spread through contact with shingles blisters that havent scabbed over yet. If you havent had chickenpox, you can acquire the varicella-zoster virus from exposure to the virus through someone elses open shingles blisters. This could lead to chickenpox.
The virus doesnt spread after the blisters have formed crusty scabs. Once the blisters scab, they can no longer pass on the virus. The virus also doesnt spread when the blisters are well covered.
You cant get shingles through contact with the saliva or nasal secretions of someone who has shingles, except in rare cases. That means you usually cant get shingles if someone who has it coughs or sneezes on you.
National Institute on Aging says that it only reactivates in around one-third of them, so only one in three people with the virus will have shingles. Experts do not know why some people develop it, and others dont.
However, the chance of this happening increases as a person gets older. Around half of all cases occur after the age of 60 years, and the risk increases significantly from 70 onward.
You might also have a higher risk if you:
Even a common cold can affect the immune system and trigger shingles in some people.
You May Like: What Do Shingles Look Like When They First Start
How Is It Treated
It is best to start treatment as soon as possible after you notice the rash. See your healthcare provider to discuss treatment with antiviral medicine, such as acyclovir. This medicine is most effective if you start taking it within the first 3 days of the rash. Antiviral medicine may speed your recovery and lessen the chance that the pain will last for a long time.
Your provider may also recommend or prescribe:
- medicine for pain
- antibacterial salves or lotions to help prevent bacterial infection of the blisters
Shingles Is A Viral Rash Like Chicken Pox
Shingles rash is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox. The shingles virus lies dormant in the nerve fibers of people who have had chicken pox as they age, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles. The CDC reports that about one in five people who have had chicken pox will get this viral rash at some point in their lives. It is most common in those over 60.
Read Also: Does Cvs Do Shingles Shots
Don’t Miss: What Can You Use For Shingles Pain
Stroke And Other Brain Ailments
In addition to shinglesÃ¢ telltale rash, neurological symptoms develop quickly and can include headaches, vomiting, fever, and confusion. This could be because varicella zoster virus sits on a nerve. Ã¢That nerve cell body has an arm that has contact with the skin, but it also has another arm that goes directly to the brain,Ã¢ explains Dr. Mukerji. Ã¢When the virus goes to the brain, it can cause meningitis, encephalitis, or stroke.Ã¢
So, while shingles resulting in brain conditions is rare, it can increase your risk for stroke. Case in point: A 2016 review of epidemiological studies published in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases found that during the year after a shingles bout, the risk of stroke increased 59%, and this risk was highest among those under 40.
In addition, shingles can also cause swelling in the brain and seizures, both of which can lead to serious and permanent complications.
Also Check: Is The Shingles Vaccine Expensive
Managing Shingles On The Scalp
Pay special attention to prevent permanent hair loss.
Herpes zoster, also commonly known as shingles, is a viral infection that occurs when the dormant varicella-zoster virus reactivates in the body after causing an earlier case of chickenpox. Once a person recovers from chickenpox, VZV travels deep into nerve tissues and remains dormant for decades. When it reawakens, it travels back up the same nerve to the skin where it reemerges as shingles.
Any individual that has had chickenpox can develop shingles unless they have been vaccinated against it, which greatly decreases their risk. Approximately 60% of all shingles cases occur in people over the age of 60.
One of the most common symptoms of shingles is a painful and blistering raised rash that erupts most often along one side of the torso, waist, chest, neck, or back. Other sites include around an eye, ear, or scalp.
Shingles on the scalp is particularly tricky to treat because the skin there is very sensitive. Simple pressure from washing or brushing the hair can result in broken and bleeding blisters.
Besides pain, shingles on the scalp can cause headaches and weakness on one side of the face that makes it appear to droop. It can also cause hair loss from combing or scratching, or even permanent baldness from cicatricial alopecia, which destroys the hair follicles that generate hair growth and replaces them with scar tissue.
Dont Miss: How Does Shingles Look When It First Starts
Recommended Reading: Best Specialist To Treat Shingles
Are Shingle On Scalp Contagious
Shingle on scalp or on other parts of the body is not contagious. What that means is that you cannot give it to someone else. However, the virus that causes chicken pox is highly contagious. The virus can be spread through physical contact with people who have not had chickenpox before or who were not vaccinated against the virus.
Remember, it is the virus that causes chicken that activates to cause shingles on scalp. Once infected with the varicella virus, your immune system releases antibodies that protect your body from future infections of the virus.
To reduce the risk of transmitting the virus from an infected person to those not infected, you need to reduce physical contact until the symptoms clear. Shingles without rash is however not contagious, It is however advised to reduce close physical contact with those not infected with the virus, especially pregnant women and those with weak or compromised immune system.
How Is Shingles Diagnosed And Treated
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 you have shingles and can make a treatment plan. Most cases can be diagnosed from a visual examination. If you have a condition that weakens the immune system, your doctor may order a shingles test. Although there is no cure for shingles, early treatment with antiviral medications can help the blisters clear up faster and limit severe pain. Shingles can often be treated at home.
Recommended Reading: What Causes The Shingles Virus To Reactivate