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Shingles is an outbreak of skin rashes or blisters caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus . However, these two conditions are completely different.

Chickenpox is the main infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes a nasty, itchy rash with symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Shingles is the reactivation of an infection. Most people develop chickenpox during childhood. Shingles appear most often in adulthood.

After being cured of chickenpox, the virus migrates to the roots of the spinal and cranial nerves, where it remains inactive. Most likely, you will not get chickenpox again. However, the virus can reappear in an adult as shingles. Shingles, known as shingles (HZ), occurs when a virus reactivates in one of the nerves.

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The first sign of shingles is usually a burning or tingling sensation in a bandage around the waist, chest, abdomen, or back. You may feel itchy or be incredibly sensitive to even the gentlest touch. The weight of the sheet on your skin can be uncomfortable. You may also experience fatigue, fever, and headaches.

After a few days or even a couple of weeks, the characteristic shingles rash will appear. This rash consists of fluid-filled blisters that usually crust over within a week or 10 days. The blisters may look like chickenpox, but they are grouped together.

Shingles usually have stripes on one side of the body or on the face , following the dermatome. A dermatome is a bundle of nerves that run from an affected nerve root.

Usually, a doctor can diagnose shingles by taking a history and observing your rash. In some cases, your doctor may take a sample of fluid from one of the blisters to verify the diagnosis.

There is no cure for shingles. However, antiviral medications can shorten the duration and make the attack less severe, especially if taken within the first three days after the rash appears. Although shingles most often occurs on the skin, it can affect any part of the body, including internal organs.

It usually takes three to five weeks for shingles to clear all stages of the disease. These stages can be seen below.

Blisters

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After experiencing moderate to severe burning or stinging pain, slightly reddish patches of skin with small bumps appear in the area of pain. These spots then turn into small blisters.

The blisters are usually filled with pus and can be itchy. This stage of shingles can last up to five days before moving on to the next stage.

Scabs and scabs

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At this stage, the blisters begin to dry out and crust over. The scabs turn yellowish and can take two to 10 days to form.

Infection

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Scratching the shingles blisters can open them, which can lead to a bacterial infection. This can lead to scarring.

Be careful scratching the blisters. If you notice that this area is red or inflamed, see your doctor to rule out further infection.

Ophthalmic herpes zoster

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Shingles ophthalmic or shingles (HZO) is a severe variant of herpes zoster that affects 20% of people with shingles. People with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV / AIDS, are at increased risk of developing shingles ophthalmic.

HZO usually appears two to four weeks after the onset of shingles. All parts of the eye can be affected.

Blisters can form around the eye, which can cause swelling of the eyelids and the surrounding area. The cornea can also be affected, causing calcification (white clouds over the iris). Vascularization can make the blood vessels in the eye more prominent.

Sash Belt "

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Shingles is one of the most common symptoms of shingles. A belt is a single rash line that appears on the right or left side of the body around the torso. Doctors easily identify this type of rash and help diagnose shingles.

Herpes zoster in dermatomes

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Shingles most often occurs in a single dermatome. A dermatome is a branch of sensory nerves that arise from a single spinal nerve.

In rare cases, shingles can affect multiple dermatomes. This can cause shingles to spread throughout the body.

Recovery

If you are healthy and receive treatment soon after the blisters appear, you will most likely recover fairly quickly. The blisters and scabs will heal and the pain will go away within three to five weeks.

If your immune system is suppressed, shingles can be a serious threat and you should talk to your doctor about the best treatment options to avoid further complications.

Shingles Discussion Guide

Get our printable guide to your next doctor's appointment to help you ask the right questions.

Summary

Shingles is a painful rash with red blisters that occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox is reactivated. It usually appears as a stripe along a nerve pathway called a dermatome. The blisters should clear up in a week or 10 days. The pain may go away in three to five weeks.

Get the word of drug information

If you suspect that you have shingles, it is important to see your doctor so that you can get a correct diagnosis and start treatment in a timely manner to avoid complications.

It is also important to note that shingles are not contagious . However, a person with herpes blisters can pass chickenpox to someone who has never had chickenpox or who has not been vaccinated against chickenpox. If you have shingles, it is best to avoid people who have not had chickenpox.

The best way to avoid shingles is to get the chickenpox vaccine as a child. If you've had chickenpox, you can get the shingles vaccine at age 50 or older.

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