Other Health Problems Due To Shingles
Some people develop other health problems after the shingles rash clears, which include:
Postherpetic neuralgia : This is the most common. Occurring where you had the rash, PHN can cause constant tingling, burning, and pain. For others, the pain comes and goes.
Whether the pain is constant or intermittent, it can go on for a long time. You can have PHN for months, years, or the rest of your life. There is no way to know how long it will last.
The pain caused by PHN can become so severe that it interferes with your life, making everyday activities painful. A musician may no longer be able to play an instrument. Some people cannot walk comfortably. It may be difficult to bathe or get dressed. You may have trouble sleeping.
How to prevent PHN: If you have shingles, you can greatly reduce your risk of PHN by getting treated for shingles within 3 days of developing the rash.
Get treated for shingles within 3 days of developing the rash
Taking antiviral medication within 3 days of getting the shingles rash can: Reduce your risk of developing PHN Ease symptoms of shingles Clear the shingles rash more quickly
Other health problems that can develop after the shingles rash clears include:
Blindness or loss of some eyesight
Although rare, some people die of shingles.
Treatment can prevent these complications.
You can find out if you have a greater risk of developing shingles at, Shingles: Causes.
Who Is At Risk Of Shingles On The Scalp
If youve had chickenpox at any point in your life, theres always a chance that youll develop shingles.
The only people who wont develop shingles are those who have never had chickenpox. However, you can still catch chickenpox even when youre an adult. And if you do, it means youll be susceptible to shingles later on.
So, lets look at who is more likely to develop shingles. First of all, shingles isnt hereditary. What this means is youre no more likely to get it if your family members have had it. Its purely down to who you are, and the lifestyle that you lead.
One of the main factors is age. When older, youre more likely to suffer from a shingles attack. In particular, the elderly are the most susceptible age group. Its thought that this has something to do with the immune system. As we age, our immune systems naturally become weaker. A weakened immune system means that the shingles virus finds it easier to become active.
For the same reason, people who are under a lot of stress are more at risk of developing shingles. Stress can put pressure on the immune system, making you more susceptible to all sorts of illnesses. Similarly, youre more likely to get shingles if you already have an illness which affects the immune system.
Shingles Signs Symptoms And Complications
Pain in one area of the body and a rash with blisters are very common in shingles.
It usually appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around one side of your torso, or in some cases on one side of your face, neck, or around one eye.
The shingles rash forms blisters that tend to scab over in 7 to 10 days and clear up in two to four weeks.
There are two vaccines available for people over age 50 that work to prevent shingles.
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Shingles On Scalp: Symptoms Pictures Images No Rash & Treatment
What are shingles on scalp? Shingles is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. That means one cannot develop shingles if they have not had a previous infection of chickenpox. The primary symptom of Shingles is a rash. It is however not uncommon for some people to develop the shingles with no rash. Both this forms of shingles are not contagious. Here are some of the symptoms, pictures and treatment option for shingles not only on scalp but also on other parts of the body.
Shingles are also called herpes zoster. This infection is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. It is common in older people above 60 years. It occurs when the virus that caused chickenpox reactivates. Once infected with chicken pox, your body defense system becomes immune to the virus. After the chicken pox clears, the virus remains dormant in the root of the nerve cells.
The virus will then reactivate to cause shingles. The actual cause for the reactivation of the virus is not known. The risk of the virus reactivating, however, increases with increase in age, the weakening of the immune system, illness or some using some medicine. Other cause believed to cause the reactivation of the virus is said to be emotional stress.
Shingles Vaccine Side Effects
The shingles vaccine has not been shown to cause any serious side effects or health consequences. Minor side effects of the vaccine include redness, swelling, soreness, or itching at the site of injection, and headache. It is safe for those who have received the shingles vaccine to be around babies or those with weakened immune systems. It has not been shown that a person can develop chickenpox from getting the shingles vaccine, although some people who receive the vaccine may develop a mild chickenpox-like rash near the injection site. This rash should be kept covered and will disappear on its own.
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Steroid Medication For Shingles
Steroids help to reduce swelling . A short course of steroid tablets may be considered in addition to antiviral medication. This may help to reduce pain and speed healing of the rash. However, the use of steroids in shingles is controversial. Your doctor will advise you. Steroids do not prevent PHN.
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.
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Can I Go To Work With Shingles
If your employer doesnt take kindly to sick days, you might be wondering whether you can still go to work. With shingles, its not always advisable when it comes to shingles on the scalp.
If someone has shingles in a small, easily coverable area, you might be able to go to work. For example, a small patch of blisters on the torso would be easy to cover with a bandage. If the blisters are completely covered, the virus wont be able to transfer to anyone else.
However, shingles on the scalp arent as easy to cover. The rash is usually underneath your hair, so it might be difficult to affix a bandage. If you arent able to cover up your rash completely, you shouldnt go to work in case you spread the virus.
This is vital if you work with vulnerable people. For example, it can be dangerous to expose pregnant women to the varicella-zoster virus. Although its rare, exposure to the varicella zoster virus can make the unborn baby quite sick. You should also avoid interacting with anyone who has a compromised immune system. For example cancer patients, the elderly, and sick people.
Another thing to consider is the pain. Shingles is usually painful. For this reason, it can be quite hard to go to work and concentrate when youre suffering so much. Doctors often advise rest when you have shingles. Dont push yourself too much. Otherwise, the illness might last longer.
What Is The Outlook
If you have a particularly severe case of shingles, it could take months to go away. It can also become a long-term problem for some people. If you have postherpetic neuralgia, you may need to see your doctor more often.
Complications that involve the eye or ear may require ongoing care, especially if you have lingering vision or hearing problems.
Most people have shingles only once, but it can recur. This is more likely to happen if you have a weakened immune system.
If you havent had any major complications, your symptoms should clear up within a matter of weeks with few, if any, lasting effects.
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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.
What Are The Causes Of Shingles On The Scalp
Shingles forms due to a virus called varicella-zoster. Although its uncomfortable and itchy, it goes away within a few weeks. However, when chickenpox goes away, youre not free from the virus. The virus stays behind in your body, without you ever realizing it.
Once chickenpox subsides, the virus travels to clusters of nerves called ganglia. These ganglia are present all over the spinal cord and the brain. Once the virus arrives at the ganglia, it sits there quite harmlessly, and often for many years.
While its lying dormant, you wont even be aware that the virus is still there. In its dormant state, it doesnt cause any symptoms. But eventually, without any warning, the virus might reactivate. This is what causes shingles.
When the varicella-zoster virus comes out of hibernation, it starts multiplying. It then moves along the nerves towards the skin which the nerves attach to. Once it reaches the skin, shingles come out in the form of blisters.
Its not clear why shingles can suddenly develop, after years of the virus being dormant. Doctors estimate that roughly 20% of people who have had chickenpox will develop shingles at some point.
It just depends on which nerves the shingles virus attached to. So if it lies dormant in the nerves in your head, youll develop shingles on your scalp!
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S Of Shingles On Neck
If you need some insight on what is wrong, consider looking at pictures of shingles on the neck online. This is not a concrete diagnosis and you should never rely on solely off of what you find online when determining the course of our treatment. This can help serve as a matter of guidance but this fails as a diagnostic criterion, especially if you have no medical training.
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Who Is At Risk From Shingles
Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of getting shingles later in life. About one in three people who have not been immunised against chickenpox or shingles will get shingles in their lifetime.
Shingles usually affects older people. The older you are if you get shingles, the higher your risk of getting serious disease. People who have a weakened immune system are also at risk of getting more severe disease, even if they are young.
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How To Treat And Prevent Shingles
Shingles is treated using antiviral medications, such as:
To manage shingles pain, you can also use numbing creams like lidocaine, or place a cool, wet washcloth on your skin.
It’s important to get treatment as quickly as possible because, “people with shingles can develop long-term pain or itch after the shingles resolves if the virus does too much damage,” Kim says.
To stop yourself from spreading varicella-zoster to anyone else, try to cover up your rash when possible and avoid directly touching it.
The best way to prevent shingles is to get a shingles vaccine. The newest vaccine, called Shingrix, is 85% to 90% effective at preventing shingles in people who have already had chickenpox. If you have never had chickenpox, you will need to get the chickenpox vaccine instead.
What Should I Expect Will Happen To Me If I Get Shingles
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 reduce the duration of your symptoms.
A better approach to shingles is to take action and do what you can to lessen your risk of getting it. If you never had shingles or had a bout of them 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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Are Shingles On Scalp Contagious
Are shingles contagious? This condition is caused by a virus, which is spread through direct contact with fluid from the rash blisters caused by shingles. A person with active shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase. Otherwise, the virus is not contagious before the blister appears.
For you to know how long shingles on scalp is contagious, you should understand the symptoms for each stage of this condition. The skin lesions develop 2 to 3 days after the onset of the attack. The rash develops typically in one line which later forms small to large blisters.
Who Is At Risk Of Getting Postherpetic Neuralgia
Factors that increase the risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia include:
- Older age: The chance of developing postherpetic neuralgia increases with age. If youre older and develop shingles, youre more likely to develop PHN and have longer lasting and more severe pain than a younger person with shingles. About 10 to 13% of people over age 50 who have had shingles will get PHN. People under age 40 rarely get PHN.
- Weakened immune system: Your immune system weakens as you get older, which allows the inactive varicella-zoster virus to become active again and cause shingles in some people. Medical conditions that can weaken your immune system include cancer, chronic infectious diseases , being an organ transplant recipient or taking medications that weaken your immune system .
- Severity of your shingles: If you have a severe rash, you have a greater chance of PHN.
- Painful, itchy or tingly feeling before shingles rash: If you had these symptoms in an area of skin a few days before your shingles rash broke out, you are at higher risk of PHN.
- Waiting to see your healthcare provider after shingles rash: If you wait longer than three days after your rash appeared missing the window to receive antiviral drugs you have an increased chance of PHN.
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How Common Is Shingles
Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin supplied by the nerve. It is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox in the past may develop shingles. Shingles is sometimes called herpes zoster.
About 1 in 4 people have shingles at some time in their lives. It can occur at any age but it is most common in older adults . After the age of 50, it becomes increasingly more common as you get older. It is uncommon to have shingles more than once but some people do have it more than once.
If Ive Been Vaccinated For Chickenpox Can I Still Develop Shingles Later In Life
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.
How Is Shingles Treated
Treatment is most effective when initiated within 72 hours of the appearance of the rash. Antiviral drugs can help recover faster and reduce the risk of complications.
Shingles rash and blisters can cause severe pain and may not reduce with over-the-counter pain medication. Treatment of pain includes:
- Antiseizure medicines
- Over-the-counter pain killers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Prescription painkillers such as codeine for intense pain
Key Points About Shingles
- Shingles is a common viral infection of the nerves. It causes a painful rash or small blisters on an area of skin.
- Shingles is caused when the chickenpox virus is reactivated.
- It is more common in people with weakened immune systems, and in people over the age of 50.
- Shingles starts with skin sensitivity, tingling, itching, and/or pain followed by rash that looks like small, red spots that turn into blisters.
- The rash is typically affects just one area on one side of the body or face.
- Treatment that is started as soon as possible helps reduce the severity of the disease.
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