A Quick Look at Shingles – The Disease

What is Shingles?

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Shingles, medically referred to as herpes zoster, is caused by the same virus which causes chickenpox. When a person has chickenpox the virus responsible lays dormant in their system afterwards and is never fully eliminated from the body. Some people who have had chickenpox will develop shingles later on in life, while others will never have to deal with this tormenting condition.

Shingles is usually defined or recognized by a burning, tingling, a pain and at times itchiness or numbness. Usually these symptoms are experienced in one area and only on one side of the individual’s body. After a few days the shingles will cause an outbreak of fluid-filled blisters which are similar to those developed with chickenpox. These blisters will also usually develop in one area and on one side of the body. Shingles are most commonly located around a band known as the dermatome. This band spans one side of an individual’s trunk and around their waistline.

The prognosis for shingles is normally good. Most healthy people’s lesions or blisters will heal and won’t leave scars. The pain caused by shingles usually subsides within three to five weeks. However, the shingles disease can be very serious for individuals who have weak immune systems. People with HIV infection or those receiving cancer treatments may have a difficult time dealing with shingles. Also people who receive organ transplants, and are given drugs to suppress their immune system, are at a greater risk of developing shingles and dealing with the condition.

There are treatments available for shingles and there is ongoing research being carried out regarding this condition. Although shingles is not a health problem that is heard about every day, it is out there and can be quite tormenting for those who develop it.

A Yahoo Search for Shingles – What Will It Produce?

It’s amazing how the Internet works and one might discover by doing a simple search via search engines such as Yahoo, one word like shingles for example, can produce a long list of results. A search for shingles provides information on shingles used to cover the roof of a house. When a person tinkles of shingles, this is perhaps the first thing that comes into their mind. Since this type of shingles is typically used by everyone, as covering for their roof, it would be normal to automatically assume it is roofing shingles that are being talked about.

A Yahoo search for shingles will also produce a list related to shingles – the disease. In this search for shingles and individual will find all sorts of detailed information regarding the disease know as shingles. This is a condition which is characterized by an outbreak of blisters or a rash on the skin. It is believed to be caused by the same virus which causes chickenpox. This type of shingles may not be familiar to all people since not everyone had been exposed to the disease or may not have known anyone who had shingles. For individuals who are interested in learning more about shingles – the disease, the Internet with its many medical web sites, is able to provide them with all they need to know about this condition.

Searching for shingles on the Internet will give an individual plenty of options. From the list provided in the search, the individual can then proceed to find the specific results on the type of shingles they are interested in. If a person is seeking information about roofing shingles, perhaps installation instructions, there will be links to web sites which provide these details. If a person is interested in learning about the disease shingles, there will be links provided to sites that can provide adequate medical information.

Complications of Shingles

Generally shingles will heal and will not cause further complications for the individual. However there is a possibility that an individual might develop complications from the shingles disease. With shingles, an individual develops fluid-like blisters which can become infected. The infection is referred to as cellulite which is a bacterial infection of the skin. If a person develops this infection, their skin will become tender, warm, firm, and reddened. The person may also notice red streaks forming around the infected area. If an individual has shingles and notices those symptoms, they should contact a health professional immediately. Fortunately this infection can be treated with antibiotics.

A more serious complication developing from shingles affects an individual’s face. When shingles affect an individual’s face, particularly around their nose and on their forehead, there is potential for eye problems. Although this isn’t normal, shingles on the face can cause serious eye problems even vision loss. If shingles appear on a person’s face, they should immediately consult with a medical professional.

The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia. Postherpetic neuralgia is defined as a pain in the local area where the shingles appeared. This pain usually persists beyond one month after the shingle’s rash is gone. It develops when the nerves in the area are irritated by the shingles. The pain can be quite severe and even debilitating, especially when it occurs in older people. Although the decrease in this pain is minimal, there is evidence that suggests using steroids and antiviral agents can help decrease the pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia.

You may have heard of shingles and perhaps have known people who’ve had this condition. Although their symptoms seemed to come and go, this is not always the case. If you or anyone you know develop shingles, it is imperative to be on the look-out for symptoms which may lead to serious complications.

Facts About Shingles and Chickenpox

There is plenty of information related to the shingles disease and its relationship to chickenpox available in medical sources and on the Internet. It is helpful to be knowledgeable about conditions such as shingles since this condition has the ability to affect so many people at different times and in different ways. It is helpful to have the facts and be informed.

Chickenpox, which is medically referred to as varicella, can be prevented by a vaccine. However, it is possible for a vaccinated individual to develop chickenpox. When this happens, the condition is usually mild with few lesions or blisters.

It is also important to know that chickenpox is actually contagious even before the appearance of blisters. It is contagious from one to two days prior to any visual signs of the conditions and until after the blisters have formed scabs. After being exposed to an individual with chickenpox, it takes about ten to twenty-one days to actually notice symptoms of this condition.

Chickenpox can produce serious complications, even death. Adults are at a higher risk for serious complications from the varicella virus than children. It is believed that less than 5% of adults are at risk of developing infection from the chickenpox virus.

Pregnant women should be extremely careful and stay away from the varicella virus. If a pregnant woman develops this virus within the first twenty weeks of pregnancy, her baby is at risk of developing serious birth defects. This virus puts the unborn baby at a one in a one hundred chance of birth defects such as cataracts, small head size, shortening and scarring of their limbs, abnormal brain development and even mental retardation.

These are just some of the facts related to shingles through chickenpox development. For more information regarding shingles and chickenpox, an individual should contact a health professional or research available material on this subject.

Prevention of Shingles via the Chickenpox Vaccine

Since the shingles disease is only developed in people who previously had chickenpox, it would make perfect sense to have the chickenpox vaccine in an attempt to prevent this condition. In North America, children are usually vaccinated against chickenpox at an early age. This helps to greatly decrease their chances of developing chickenpox and subsequently developing shingles. However it is recommended that a follow up vaccination for varicella would be beneficial in children and adults who had only one dose. Also for adults at a high risk for shingle exposure or transmission and who have not had a vaccine or chickenpox should receive special attention.

Adults who fall into the category of being at risk for exposure or transmission to shingles include healthcare workers. This group or individuals would definitely be in the line of fire since they deal with sickness and disease each and everyday. It would surely be in their best interest to make sure they are vaccinated against chickenpox. Residents and staff members in institutional settings are also at a greater risk of developing chickenpox and shingles. For this reason they too ought to be vaccinated. Inmates and staff of correctional institutions should consider vaccination against the varicella virus. Dealing with people from different areas and lifestyles would surely put them at risk for all sorts of health conditions. International travelers should receive special consideration for the vaccination since they will doubtlessly be in contact with different types of infectious diseases including chickenpox. Military personal, teachers and daycare workers, anyone who has day to day contact with numerous individuals. It is also a good idea for non-pregnant women of childbearing age to be vaccinated against chickenpox. Because the virus which causes chickenpox also has the potential to cause shingles, people should make sure they are vaccinated or that their vaccinations are up to date.

What are the First Signs of the Shingles Virus

The virus which causes shingles is the same virus which is responsible for chickenpox. The shingles virus is medically known as Varicella zoster. When an individual has chickenpox this virus invades the body. After recovering from chickenpox, this virus remains. It lives in the nerves and never fully leaves the individual’s body. It is important to remember that the herpes virus which causes shingles and chickenpox is not the same herpes virus which causes genital herpes.

Since this Vericella zoster remains in the body, there is a chance that it may resurface. When it does the individual is likely to develop the shingles virus. Some conditions may reactivate this virus such as stress, an immune deficiency and cancer. In most cases though, there is no known cause for the reactivation of this virus.

One of the first signs of the shingles virus is burning pain and sensitive skin. These symptoms are likely to occur a few days or a week prior to any visible indications of shingles. The second sign of the shingles virus is small blisters. These blisters are on a red base. For three to five days after new blisters will form. These blisters caused by the shingles virus form following a path of individual nerves. These nerves come from the spinal cord. The entire nerve may have blisters and it come case there may be areas without blisters. After a period these blisters will break and the liquid inside will seep out. The blisters will eventually heal. There is generally pain with the shingles virus. Some people who are affected by this virus experience the pain but never have any blisters. This condition brought on by the shingles virus usually lasts for a period of three to four weeks. The shingles virus can be very tormenting and even be a cause of unexplainable pain.

Health | General | Skin

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