Tuesday, July 16, 2024

What Is Shingles And What Does It Look Like

Who Should Not Get The Vaccine

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

Do not get the shingles vaccine if:

  • You have a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis, to any ingredient of a vaccine or to a previous dose of Shingrix
  • You have shingles now.
  • You are sick with an illness and a fever of 101°F or higher.

  • You should also consider delaying the vaccine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough is known about its safety for expectant and lactating women.
  • You have had a negative test for varicella this would be uncommon for adults eligible for the vaccine, as most adults worldwide ages 50 and older have been exposed to the virus. You do not have to be tested before getting the vaccine.

Severe Shingles Rash That Require Special Attention

Shingles on the FACE , shingles in the EYE, or shingles in the EAR do require IMMEDIATE medical attention.

According to doctors at Mayo Clinic, if the shingles rash reaches your eye, it can cause eye infections that could lead to temporary or even permanent loss of vision. If you have a shingles rash that is on your eye, eyelid or forehead , you should go see a doctor as soon as possible.

If the shingles rash is in or on your ear, you could develop hearing or balance problems, and in rare instances, the virus might attack your brain or spinal cord. For these reasons, if you have developed a shingles rash in or around your ear , you should seek immediate medical attention.

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.

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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.

What Are Symptoms Of Shingles

The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

The first signs of shingles include:

  • Unusual sensations such as tingling, itching, or burning in an area of skin on one side of the body

After one to two days, signs and symptoms of shingles include:

  • A rash that looks like a band-like pattern of blisters on one side of the body
  • Commonly appears on the trunk but can appear on almost any part of the body
  • After three to four days, blisters become open sores
  • After 7 to 10 days, sores crust over and are no longer contagious
  • A rash near the eye that can permanently affect vision if not treated
  • Often starts several days before the rash appears
  • May range from mild to severe
  • May have a sharp, stabbing, or burning quality
  • Only involves the parts of the skin affected by the rash, but it can be severe and interfere with daily activities and sleep
  • Is often worse in older adults than in younger people
  • Skin color changes and scarring may occur after shingles have gone away.

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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

    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.

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    Is A Vaccine Available To Prevent Shingles

    Two vaccines are available in the United States to reduce your chance of developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. One vaccine, Zostavax®, has been available since 2006. The second vaccine, Shingrix®, has been available since 2017. Shingrix is recommended as the preferred vaccine by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of medical and public health experts.

    Shingrix is given as a two-dose shot in your upper arm. You should receive the second dose two to six months after receiving the first. Shingrix has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. Its effectiveness remains above 85% for at least four years after receiving the vaccine.

    Chickenpox Is Caused By The Same Virus

    How Do You Get Shingles? What Does Shingles Look Like?

    The same virus, varicella zoster virus, causes both chickenpox and shingles.

    Chickenpox typically causes an itchy rash that spreads over the entire body, as opposed to just one side of the body or face like shingles. More than 99 percent of Americans born on or before 1980 have had chickenpox, per the CDC. If you dont know if you had chickenpox, check with your family doctor, who can review your records.

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    Skin: Condition: Infomation Vaccine

    A vaccine is licensed to prevent shingles in people who are 70 to 79 years old. If you are in this age group, please ask your GP for the vaccination. The shingles vaccine does not help a person who already has shingles or postherpetic neuralgia.

    Another vaccine is available to prevent a vulnerable child or adult from catching chickenpox. It is not recommended for routine use in children.

    Do You Need To Stay Away From Children People Who Are Pregnant Have Cancer Or Anyone With A Weak Immune System After You Get The Zostavax Vaccine

    According to the CDC, its safe to be around babies and young children, pregnant women or anyone with a weakened immune system after you get the Zostavax vaccine. Even though the Zostavax vaccine contains a weakened live varicella-zoster virus, the CDC says theres no documented case of a person getting chickenpox from someone who has received the Zostavax vaccine. And remember: You cant get shingles unless youve already had chickenpox.

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    What Is Shingles And What Causes It

    The varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox is the same virus that causes shingles. When you’ve had chickenpox as a child or teenager, the physical signs disappear as your body fights off the virus. However, the virus always remains in your body and can reactivate as you age.

    For some, the virus stays in the body quietly in a portion of your spinal nerve root called the dorsal root ganglion. For others, the virus can become reactivated and develop into shingles.

    Is The Shingles Rash Dangerous

    The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

    The shingles rash doesnt usually cause any long-term damage to your body. However, if your rash develops on your face or ears, it can cause long-term issues Ill explain the full risks in the section below.

    No matter how minor your case of shingles you should still go see your doctor to get treatment for your shingles. Theyâll likely provide you with medication to ease your pain and help fight the virus.

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    Will Shingles Go Away On Its Own

    Shingles isnt life-threatening, but it can be incredibly painful and, in some cases, complications can arise. While this rash typically goes away its own, prompt treatment can reduce your pain and help shingles go away faster.

    Several antivirals can be used to treat shingles. These drugs can help you heal more quickly and reduce your pain, but they are most effective when started within 72 hours of your rash appearing. This means its important to see your doctor as soon as you suspect shingles, says Dr. Brown. When it comes to the pain associated with shingles, most people are able to manage it using over-the-counter pain relievers. But, pain can be severe for some people. In these cases, your doctor can prescribe stronger pain medications.

    Beyond treating your immediate pain and rash, seeing your doctor is also important since serious complications can occur as a result of shingles, such as:

    • Postherpetic neuralgia pain that lasts for months to years after the rash clears, with this pain being debilitating in some cases
    • Skin infection occurs if the open sores of your rash become infected with bacteria, which can require antibiotics and delay healing
    • Vision problems while rare, if your rash develops near your eye, the associated inflammation can damage your retina and, in some cases, result in vision loss

    How Long Does Shingles Last

    Shingles blisters usually scab over in 7-10 days and disappear completely in two to four weeks. In most healthy people, the blisters leave no scars, and the pain and itching go away after a few weeks or months. But people with weakened immune systems may develop shingles blisters that do not heal in a timely manner.

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    Hows Shingles Without A Rash Diagnosed

    Shingles without a rash isnt common, but it may be more common than previously thought because it often goes undiagnosed. Shingles without a rash is difficult to diagnose based on your symptoms alone.

    Your doctor may test your blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or saliva to identify the presence of VZV antibodies. This will allow them to confirm a diagnosis of shingles without a rash. However, these tests are often inconclusive.

    Your medical history may provide clues that suggest you have shingles without a rash. Your doctor may ask if youve had a recent operation or if youre under increased stress.

    Once your doctor suspects you have VZV, theyll use antiviral medicines such as acyclovir to treat the shingles. They may also prescribe drugs for the pain.

    Other treatment will vary based on the location and severity of symptoms.

    Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of Your Body

    Shingles disease what it looks like how to treat it

    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.

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    What Does Shingles Look Like: What You Need To Know

    Most people think they know what shingles look like. They are wrong. Shingles can be a lot of different shapes and sizes, but what do you need to know about them? In this article we will discuss what shingles look like, what causes them, what symptoms they cause, how to diagnose if you have been infected with the virus that causes it and what treatments are available.

    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.

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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.

    Can Shingles Cause Chronic Pain

    The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

    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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    S Of The Shingles Rash

    If you have a rash of blisters on your skin or a rash that looks like any shown below, see your doctor immediately for a diagnosis. If you have shingles, its important to get treatment, preferably within 2 to 3 days.

    If youve had the rash for longer than 2 to 3 days, its still important to see your doctor.

    A typical shingles rash

    Doctors often refer to this rash as the shingles band because it looks like a band that appears on one area of your body, as shown here.

    A rash on one side of the body

    A key that you have shingles is that the rash only develops on one side of your body.

    Close-up of a shingles rash

    The shingles rash often causes a cluster of tiny blisters. You may notice that the skin beneath the blisters is red and inflamed, as shown here.

    The rash will also feel painful.

    Blistering shingles rash on a man’s chest

    Although the rash can begin in one area, you may notice that a few scattered blisters develop in other areas, as shown here.

    Shingles rash on the palm of a man’s hand

    While shingles tends to develop on your body or face, it can appear anywhere on your skin.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

    Shingles often starts with a burning, tingling, or painful sensation along one side of the torso or head. Within one to five days, a rash will appear. Within a few days, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters. The blisters will start to dry up about a week later, and will begin to disappear over the next several weeks. Some people only experience mild itching, but others have intense pain.

    If you think you may have shingles, see your doctor as soon as possible, especially if you see blisters on your face or near your eye. Shingles can cause hearing or vision loss, especially if you dont get treatment for it.

    No matter where your rash appears, you should seek medical treatment quickly. Your doctor can make a diagnosis and prescribe treatments to help the blisters dry up and heal. This can reduce the duration of the outbreak and your discomfort.

    No cure is available for shingles, but most people who have an outbreak get it only once.

    Doing the following at home may help you to feel more comfortable:

    • Get lots of rest.
    • Use cool washcloths on your rash.
    • Take oatmeal baths.
    • Keep your stress to a minimum.

    You should keep the rash covered and wash your hands often to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. Shingles isnt contagious, but you can give someone chickenpox while you have it.

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    Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine

    “Because the vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of developing herpes zoster and shingles complications, getting the vaccine is highly recommended,” says Dr. Mohring. “I strongly recommend it for all patients 50 years or older and those who are immunocompromised. It’s safe and effective and reduces severity if you have a breakthrough episode.”

    The Shingrix vaccine is a two-dose series given two to six months apart. It’s been shown to be over 90% effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia and remains over 85% effective for at least four years afterward. You will not get shingles from this vaccine, and it is generally safe for those with weakened immune systems.

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