- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Common Symptoms Of Shingles and Treatment, That You Should Understand
If you have ever had Chicken Pox, and even if you haven't, you could get Shingles. Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus, which cam lie dormant in the nerve tissues of the body for many years.This virus can then suddenly reappear and travel up to the surface of the skin by way of the nerves.
Anyone who has ever had Chicken Pox can get shingles. If you have shingles and the sores are open, you must avoid anyone who has never had Chicken Pox as you are now in a contagious state and can easily infect them. It is especially important to avoid the very young, pregnant woman, and anyone with a compromised immune system. Shingles usually attacks middle to older age adults and those with lowered immunity. What triggers an attack is not totally understood although fatigue and stress may be factors. One attack of shingles does not make you immune. Some individuals have two or even three attacks.
Shingles generally occur around only one side of the body, following the paths of the nerves. That means they may appear around your stomach, and spread around one side to the spine. The other half will be unaffected. The unsightly rash of Shingles can appear anywhere on the body, arms, legs, hands, face, neck, fingers, scalp and in the ears. Chicken pox, on the other hand spreads over the whole body.
The first thing you may notice is a simple reddening of the skin. A rash will then appear which will eventually turn into raised pimples which go on to become puss filled blisters. After the rash first appears there may be a tingling sensation or even numbness. Itching and burning is next. Scratching at this point can cause scaring. Other symptoms my include headache, chills, fever, nausea, and agonizing abdominal pain. These symptoms may last up to four weeks. Shingles in itself is not a fatal illness but there may be residual pain and skin sensitivity for many months, as well as permanent scaring.
It is important that you see your physical immediately if you have unexplained redness appearing on your body in any area, but especially if it makes the half-body pattern, and if a rash appears. This is vital if you have shingles in the area of your eyes as this can cause eye damage. Medication given at the onset of symptoms can lessen the severity of an attack and make some symptoms more tolerable. Even later on, topical creams or topical anti-inflammatory ointments may help. Pain medication may be prescribed. Some say cold compresses will sooth the itching.
There is a vaccine available now and many physicians advise it for patients over sixty. Discuss this with your doctor.
Be considerate of others. If you have shingles, isolate yourself. You might be contagious and can easily spread the affliction to those less able to withstand it.