The 4 stages of shingles and how the condition progresses
Nov 05, · Shingles is a viral infection that results from the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. It typically affects a . Nov 08, · Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Even after the chickenpox infection is over, the .
Shingles is usually diagnosed based on the history of pain on one side of your body, along with the telltale rash and blisters. Your doctor may also take a tissue scraping or culture of the blisters for examination in the laboratory.
There's no cure for shingles, but prompt treatment with prescription antiviral drugs can speed healing and reduce your risk of complications.
These medications include:. Shingles generally lasts between two and six weeks. Most people get shingles only once, but it is possible to get it two or more times. Taking a cool bath or using cool, wet compresses on your blisters may help relieve the itching and pain. And, if possible, try to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
Some people have such mild symptoms of shingles that they don't seek medical treatment. At the other extreme, severe symptoms may result in a visit to the emergency room.
Preparing a list of questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your limited time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For shingles, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:. What are shingles medical condition addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask any additional questions that occur to you during your appointment. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.
Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Don't delay your care at Mayo Clinic Schedule your appointment now for safe in-person care. This content how do i create a store on facebook not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Diagnosis Shingles is usually diagnosed based on the history of pain on one side of your body, along with the telltale rash and blisters.
Treatment There's no cure for shingles, but prompt treatment with prescription antiviral drugs can speed healing and reduce your risk of complications. More Information Shingles and alcohol. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Shingles: Hope through research. National How to make a ps1 game of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Accessed May 9, Yun H, et al. Longterm effectiveness of herpes zoster vaccine among patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Journal of Rheumatology. In press. Ferri FF. Herpes zoster. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor Philadelphia, Pa. Bennett JE, et al. Chickenpox and herpes zoster varicella-zoster virus. Shingles: Clinical overview. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Longo DL, et al. Varicella-zoster virus infections. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. New York, N. Albrecht MA, et al. Vaccination for the prevention of shingles herpes zoster. Accessed Sept. Zostavax zoster vaccine live recommendations.
Shingrix recommendations. Herpes zoster shingles. Mayo Clinic; Related Shingles Shingles affects the nerves Shingles and alcohol Shingles vaccine: Can I transmit the vaccine virus to others? Shingles vaccine: Should I get it? Show more related content.
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What is shingles?
Jan 08, · For severely painful shingles and complications of postherpetic neuralgia, doctors may prescribe treatments including these: Topical numbing agents like a lidocaine cream, spray or skin patch. Capsaicin cream, lotion or skin patch to ease nerve pain. Gabapentin, an anticonvulsant medication that's. Oct 12, · You can think of shingles as a one-two punch of infections. Anyone who gets it had a case of chickenpox first, often decades earlier. These two conditions .
Shingles is a painful skin condition caused by the same virus as chickenpox. It most often affects people over 50 years old, and outbreaks usually last for 3 to 5 weeks. There are four different stages of shingles, including a skin-blistering phase during which you can spread the disease to other people. Here's what you need to know about the different stages of shingles and the best way to treat and prevent this disease. If you have ever had chickenpox , an itchy skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, you are at risk of developing shingles.
Because after you heal from chickenpox, the virus stays in your body and hibernates inside of your nerve cells. The virus is kept in check by your immune system but, "as you get older and your immune system is weaker, you can break out in shingles in a localized region of your body," says Brian Kim, MD , a dermatology professor at the Washington University School of Medicine. About one in three adults will get shingles. A shingles outbreak can take weeks to heal, and the illness tends to follow a similar pattern, moving through several phases before becoming dormant again.
Here is an overview of each stage of a shingles outbreak. During the first stage of shingles, before anything appears on your skin, a particular area of your body may begin to feel different. Often you will feel this on only one side of your body. The initial signs of shingles may feel different for each person. In some cases, shingles can cause intense sensitivity , making it painful to even wear clothes over your skin, while in other cases, your skin may feel numb.
Between 1 and 5 days after you start to feel the tingling or numb feeling, a red rash will develop on the same area of your skin. Most often, the rash appears on one side of your torso, but it can show up anywhere on your body.
You may also have other symptoms along with the rash, such as:. When the rash starts, you should see a doctor for treatment as soon as possible. Starting antiviral medication treatment within 3 days of the rash first appearing can lower your risk of developing complications, like long-term pain.
A few days after the rash appears, it will start to form painful blisters filled with fluid. These blisters can break open and leak fluid that contains infectious amounts of the varicella-zoster virus. If someone who has not had chickenpox touches this fluid, the virus can infect them and cause a case of chickenpox.
However, anyone who has already had chickenpox or the chickenpox or shingles vaccine will not be at risk of catching the virus from you. About 7 to 10 days after the blisters appear on your skin, they will begin to dry up. The leaked fluid will form a crust over the rash and your sores will no longer be open.
Once the blisters have crusted over, your skin will gradually heal and the scabs will disappear over the next couple weeks. Shingles is treated using antiviral medications , such as:. To manage shingles pain, you can also use numbing creams like lidocaine, or place a cool, wet washcloth on your skin. It's important to get treatment as quickly as possible because, "people with shingles can develop long-term pain or itch after the shingles resolves if the virus does too much damage," Kim says.
To stop yourself from spreading varicella-zoster to anyone else, try to cover up your rash when possible and avoid directly touching it. The best way to prevent shingles is to get a shingles vaccine. If you have never had chickenpox, you will need to get the chickenpox vaccine instead. Shingles is a common condition that can cause extreme pain if it isn't properly treated. If you develop a rash that you think may be shingles, see your doctor as quickly as possible to get treatment and prevent any serious complications.
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