what are shingles

What Are Shingles?

What are Shingles? Shingles are an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that also causes chickenpox. The virus can live in your body for several years after the infection from chickenpox has subsided, before reactivating and coming back as shingles. Shingles are also commonly known as herpes zoster. This is a type of viral infection that can be characterized by a red rash on your skin that causes a burning sensation and pain. Shingles normally pop up as a streak of blisters, typically on the neck, face, or torso. In most cases, shingles usually disappear within 2 to 3 weeks. A case of shingles will rarely occur in the same person more than once. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that 1 out of 3 people in America will experience a case of shingles at least once in their life.

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Is There Any Treatment For Shingles?

Is There Any Treatment for Shingles? Shingles is a disease that affects the nerves. This medical condition is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox in children. Even if you recover from chickenpox, the virus continues to live in some nerve cells. Since it’s inactive, you may not know whether it’s there. According to medical experts, a significant percentage of adults live with the virus within their bodies, but do not suffer from its symptoms. However, the virus may become active again in some people. When that happens, it results in shingles instead of chickenpox. Research is still undergoing to establish what makes the virus active again. A person who has this condition may or may not be afflicted with another health complication. If you have had chickenpox before, the virus will most likely be laying dormant in your body, and you may be afflicted with shingles in the future.

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How To Treat Shingles?

What is Shingles? This condition is an infection resulting from the varicella-zoster virus, which is also the main cause of chickenpox. Once the individual recovers from chickenpox, this virus can survive in the nervous system for several years. Sometimes, the virus reactivates as shingles, which is also called herpes zoster. This viral infection causes a red rash on the skin resulting in burning and pain. A stripe of blisters will start forming on just one side of the body. It usually appears on the face, neck, or torso. Most people recover within two to three weeks. The same individual does not usually encounter this virus more than once. Of every three people in the United States, only one will contract this virus during their lifetime.

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Are Shingles Contagious?

The varicella-zoster virus is what triggers this condition and the same virus is responsible for chickenpox. Once an individual has shingles, it can be spread to someone else. This person will have an increased risk of developing chickenpox, provided they have not already had it or been vaccinated. Although relatively uncommon, the varicella-zoster virus can be contracted from extremely contagious lesions by touching the blisters. The virus will remain within the nerve tissues of the individual for their entire life. During this time, the virus usually remains in an inactive state. Should the immune system of the individual be unable to contain the virus, it can become active again many years later. The result is the development of this condition.

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Shingles – Symptoms And Causes

Shingles – Symptoms And Causes Shingles, herpes zoster or zoster is a viral infection that appears as a painful rash. The varicella-zoster virus – the same virus responsible for chickenpox – causes it, and anyone who has contracted chickenpox before can get herpes zoster. This virus stays inactive in the body for many decades after getting chickenpox, typically in the cranial or spinal nerves. When the virus reactivates as zoster, it travels along the nerves to the skin and causes rashes to erupt. While this infection is not life-threatening, it can be excruciating. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) claims that herpes zoster has been steadily increasing in the United States and that roughly one out of three Americans will develop the infection in their lifetime. Vaccines can significantly minimize the risk of developing herpes zoster while prompt treatment can shorten the infection and mitigate the chances of further complications. Generally, the risk of contracting this infection increases as we age; hence, you should consider getting a vaccine if you are over 50.

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