You may be feeling great, but if you've had chickenpox, the Shingles virus is already inside you.And your risk for Shingles increases as you get older.
Shingles, also called herpes zoster or zoster,is a painful skin rash caused by, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in the body. Usually the virus does not cause any further problems; however, the virus may re-emerge years later, causing shingles.
Chickenpox must be prevented in order to prevent shingles.A vaccine for chickenpox is now available and it is hoped that immunized individuals will be less likely to develop shingles in later life. For most people 50 and older, the Shingle's Vaccine can help prevent shingles. If vaccinated people do get shingles, it’s likely to be less severe.
The first sign of Shingles may be a pain, tingling, or an itchy feeling on a specific part of the skin, on a single side of the body. This sensation may last from two to three days. The Shingles rash typically appears on the same part of the skin where the initial symptoms were felt;
It is important to treat shingles quickly and aggressively ;otherwise, it can lead to some serious problems;
You can’t “catch” shingles from someone else. But it is possible for a person with a blistery shingles rash to pass on the varicella-zoster virus to someone who’s never had chickenpox or a chickenpox vaccine. If that happens, the other person would get chickenpox, not shingles.
The risk of spreading shingles is low if the rash is covered. People with shingles should keep the rash covered, not touch or scratch the rash, and wash their hands often to prevent the spread of shingles. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer contagious.
Fortunately there are several medications available to treat Shingles. These medications should be started as soon as possible after the rash appears and will help shorten the illness and decrease how severe the illness is. Pain medicine may also help with pain caused by shingles.
See your Doctor/Healthcare provider at the first sign of shingles to discuss treatment options. Early treatment can shorten the length of infection and reduce the risk of serious complications.