Tuesday, July 16, 2024

What’s The Difference Between Hives And Shingles

Why Does The Rash From Poison Ivy Oak Or Sumac Spread

What is Shingles?

While it may look like the rash is spreading, whats most likely happening is that youre developing one or more new rashes. This happens because you either:

  • Got urushiol on more than one area of your skin. Typically, the skin with the most oil on it develops a rash first. Skin with less oil tends to react later.

  • Touched something that still has urushiol on it, such as the unwashed clothing you were wearing when you brushed up against one of these poisonous plants. Urushiol doesnt have to be on the plant to cause a rash.

If your new rash appears near the current rash, it can look like the rash is spreading.

Many people also mistakenly believe that when they touch their rash, they can spread the rash from one part of their body to another. You cannot spread the rash.

If you have oil from the plant on your skin, you can spread the oil for a short time. Your skin absorbs the oil quickly, so you can only spread the oil from one part of your skin to another for a short amount of time.

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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.

When Is A Rash More Than A Rash

A minor rash is easily treatable with antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream. But you should speak with your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Do you have a fever or pain accompanying your rash? It could be a sign of infection and should quickly be evaluated by your doctor.
  • Do you have blisters? A rash that begins to blister but that cant be explained by exposure to poison oak or ivy could be shingles.
  • Does your rash persist without improvement from over-the-counter medications? If antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream offer no improvement, a visit with your doctor is advised.
  • Is there any bruising or swelling around it? The rash may be preventing proper blood flow.
  • Is there any discharge or secretion from the rash? Any colored discharge or bad odor is a sign of infection.
  • Did the rash appear and spread quickly? This could be an allergic reaction to medication or food. Seek immediate medical attention if breathing becomes difficult.
  • Is the rash circular in shape? This could be a sign of Lyme disease.
  • Do you have skin discolorations or changes in your skin texture? A yellowing of the skin could indicate liver disease. Hardening and darkening of the skin could be signs of diabetes.

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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.

Stay Away From Certain Groups Of People If You Have Shingles

Shingles and HIV: What is the link?

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

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How Are Hives Treated

Hives often disappear on their own. But its helpful if you can identify whats triggering your hives.

If you can avoid exposure to the allergen causing the reaction, your hives will hopefully disappear and not return. Unfortunately, it isnt always that simple.

If you continue to have hives, there are several at-home treatments you can try to get rid of them. These include:

  • taking oral antihistamines
  • applying cortisone cream to the area
  • applying calamine lotion to the area
  • soaking the area with a cool compress of witch hazel
  • using a cold water compress on the area
  • wearing loose clothing that doesnt irritate the skin
  • avoiding sun exposure

Hives can last for hours, days, weeks, or longer.

Chronic, long-lasting hives may need more aggressive, medical treatment, such as prescription antihistamines, oral corticosteroids, or biologic drugs. Severe cases of hives may require an epinephrine injection.

What Does Shingles Feel Like Before The Rash

The most common symptom of shingles is a painful rash of fluid-filled blisters that appears in a band-like pattern on one side of the body. However, some people develop other symptoms before the shingles rash itself appears. These symptoms may include fever, feeling generally unwell, headache, muscle aches, and burning, tingling, numbness, or itching in the affected area.

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How Does It Occur

If you have had chickenpox, you are at risk for later developing shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays in your body. It moves to the roots of your nerve cells and becomes inactive . Later, if the virus becomes active again, shingles is the name given to the symptoms it causes.

What exactly causes the virus to become active is not known. A weakened immune system seems to allow reactivation of the virus. This may occur with normal aging, immune-suppressing medicines, or another illness, or after major surgery. It can also happen as a complication of cancer or AIDS or treatment of these illnesses. Chronic use of steroid drugs may trigger shingles. The virus may also become active again after the skin is injured or sunburned. Emotional stress seems to be a common trigger as well.

Other Complications Of Shingles

5 Home Remedies for Shingles | Health

If the shingles rash appears around the eye or forehead, it can cause eye infections and temporary or permanent loss of vision. If the shingles virus attacks the ear, people may develop hearing or balance problems. In rare cases, the shingles virus may attack the brain or spinal cord. These complications can often be prevented by beginning treatment for shingles as soon as possible.

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Should You See A Doctor

If you have long-term hives or rashes, talking to a doctor such as an allergist or dermatologist may help you uncover their cause and determine the best course of treatment.

Hives or rashes may be the result of an allergic reaction or medical condition that warrants immediate medical treatment.

See a doctor if your skin condition is accompanied by any of these symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing

Hand Foot And Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease can be confused for monkeypox because both illnesses can cause fevers as well as lesions on the hands, feet and mouth, the dermatologists said.

The lesions usually get better without treatment within ten days, according to the CDC.

The best way to tell between monkeypox and hand, foot, and mouth is with a lab test, the dermatologists said.

If youre sick and have a fever and a new rash, its a very reasonable to go and see your family doctor, Freeman said.

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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.

Where Can I Find More Information About Research On Shingles

why chickenpox isn

In addition to the NINDS, several other NIH organizations support research relevant to understanding, treating, or preventing shingles and its complications, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institute on Aging .

  • NIH RePORTER is a searchable database of current and previously funded research supported by NIH and some other federal agencies. RePORTER also includes links to research results such as patents and publications citing support from these projects.
  • PubMed allows users to search millions of journal article abstracts in biomedical research fields. The full text of many articles describing research funded by NIH and other sources is also freely available through PubMedCentral

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How Is Eczema Treated

See a doctor if you develop eczema symptoms for the first time. Your doctor can examine your skin and confirm if eczema is causing your symptoms.

If your doctor thinks you have eczema, theyll explain how to manage your symptoms. This might include consulting a dermatologist.

Similarly, if youve already been diagnosed with eczema, be sure to continue following your medical professionals recommendations.

Like shingles, eczema has no cure, but treatment and self-care can help decrease flare-ups and protect your skin. This may include:

Chickenpox Versus Shingleswhats The Difference

Did you know? The same virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. Although shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus, they are not the same illness. Chickenpox is usually a milder illness that affects children. Shingles results from a reactivation of the virus long after the chickenpox illness has disappeared.

The chickenpox virus stays in the body even after recovery. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles. If you have shingles, you can spread the varicella virus to people who have never had chickenpox or never received the chickenpox vaccine. These people will develop chickenpox, not shingles. It takes from 10 to 21 days after exposure to chickenpox or shingles for someone to develop chickenpox.

What are the symptoms?


  • Initial symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, and feeling tired.
  • An itchy blister-like rash, usually starting on the face, chest or back, follows 1-2 days later.
  • The rash then spreads to the rest of the body, and new blisters continue to appear for about 3-4 days.
  • Generally, within 1 week, the blisters dry out and scabs form and fall off.


How contagious is it?

Shingles Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. Someone with an infectious shingles rash can spread chickenpox if the other person has never had chickenpox. However, someone with shingles will not cause another person to develop shingles.

Is there a vaccine?

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What Should You Expect If You 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 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.

Shingles Vs Poison Ivy: How To Tell The Difference

How to tell if a rash needs medical attention

Roughly 1 in 3 people in the United States will have shingles in their lifetime, making it one of the most common viral illnesses in older adults.

Poison ivy rash is one of the most common dermatological conditions in the United States, affecting up to 50 million people each year.

While shingles and poison ivy can both cause a blistering rash, there are significant differences in symptoms between the two conditions.

In this article, well explore how to tell the difference between shingles and poison ivy, including the symptoms, treatment, and prevention for each condition.

Although shingles and poison ivy may appear similar at first glance, there are definitive differences between the symptoms of shingles and the symptoms of poison ivy rash.

A viral shingles infection generally presents with a specific type of blistery rash thats accompanied by other symptoms of malaise, such as pain, fever, chills, and headaches.

An allergic poison ivy rash may look similar, but is usually more localized and doesnt cause symptoms of feeling unwell.

The chart below outlines the primary differences between a shingles infection and a poison ivy rash.


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

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.

Measles Rash Looks Like Flat Red Spots

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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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.

Difference Between Shingles And Eczema Causes

Is it shingles? Symptoms, vs. other conditions, and causes

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you have previously had chickenpox, there is a higher risk of having shingles later on in life. Even if youve recovered from chickenpox, the virus can be dormant and remain in the nervous system. Throughout the years, the virus can become reactivated and present itself as shingles.

The reason why the varicella zoster virus reactivates is unclear and may have to do with aging and a weakened immune system, hence the prevalence of shingles among older adults.

The exact cause of eczema is unknown. Because it often resembles an allergy, researchers believe that environmental factors may trigger the condition. A combination of factors may come into play with regards to the cause of eczema, including genetics, abnormal functioning of the immune system, environment, activities that cause the skin to be more sensitive, and defects in the skin barrier allowing moisture out and germs in.

Eczema has been found to run in families, so heredity may be a contirbuting factor. It is also more common in asthma patients and in those who suffer from allergies.

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Shingles Or Something Else

Small blisters that appear only on the lips or around the mouth may be cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters. They’re not shingles, but are instead caused by the herpes simplex virus. Itchy blisters that appear after hiking, gardening, or spending time outdoors could be a reaction to poison ivy, oak, or sumac. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your rash, see your healthcare provider.

You Cannot Get Shingles From Someone With Chickenpox

You cannot get shingles from someone with shingles or chickenpox.

But you can get chickenpox from someone with shingles if you have not had chickenpox before.

When people get chickenpox, the virus remains in the body. It can be reactivated later and cause shingles if someone’s immune system is lowered.

This can be because of stress, certain conditions, or treatments like chemotherapy.

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Monkeypox Vs Shingles: How To Tell The Difference Between The 2 Diseases

The first case of monkeypox in the UK was reported on May 7 and since then, cases of the current outbreak have dramatically risen across the globe. It is a well-known disease that causes rashes to the body, but as Metro reported, some people confuse it with another condition with similar symptoms.

Shingles also cause rashes on the skin and are characterized by weakness, chills, and muscle aches before the rashes appear. Some may develop pain, itching, tingling, and burning on the skin.

To avoid confusion, heres how to tell the difference between the two.

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