Shingles Symptoms and How to Spot Them

Not a lot of people are aware of the disease called “Shingles.” For some, they may confuse it with chicken pox. This is not a far-off assumption since the causative factor of both chicken pox and shingles are the same. However, they both differ in their presenting symptoms and the time of the attack. Let us look more into them by reading this article.

Shingles is a condition that is characterized by a skin rash that is usually accompanied by pain. This condition is, as mentioned earlier, is caused by the very same virus that causes the onset of chicken pox. It is called the varicella zoster virus. However, shingles is considered to be a post-chicken pox condition. Allow me to explain.

People normally get chicken pox in their earlier stages. It is very common, but not limited to, children. Adults who have never had chicken pox in their life might contract the disease as well. Chicken pox can be passed on through airborne transmission. Once you have had chicken pox, it is well-known that you will never have it again for you have developed immunity to the condition. This is partially true because although you can never really have chicken pox again, you still carry with you the varicella zoster virus in its dormant state. Once your immune system crashes, or the virus gets activated by a variety of factors, you will exhibit symptoms of the disease again, but this time, it will be called shingles.
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So, what are shingles symptoms? They are the following:

You would first experience one-sided pain. It could either be in your left side or right side. The pain can also come with tingling or burning sensation. This pain is a precursor to the rash that would appear afterward.

Following the pain would be the development of rash and blisters. Rash, in shingles, is usually limited to the central part of the body. This would include the spine, the trunk, the chest, the face, the mouth and the ears. It could also affect the eyes.

Blisters in shingles would usually “break” and form crusts. These would be very itchy and it is highly advised not to scratch them. These blisters would turn into ulcers and these ulcers would eventually form crusts. Once these crusts have dried, they would flake off. Again, please do not scratch. These crusts will fall off in time, around two to three weeks, and scarring will not occur if you do not scratch your blisters.

Other symptoms exhibited by a person affected with shingles would be abdominal pain, fever accompanied by chills, headache, body malaise, and joint pain. Due to the fact that the eyes are affected, ptosis, or drooping of the eyelids, may occur.

Shingles is not a very serious condition, but this does not mean that it should be taken lightly. When left alone, it could be aggravated by complications and might render you blind or deaf. Blood infection could even occur. It is strongly recommended that you consult with your doctor if ever you observe yourself, or someone you know, exhibiting the symptoms mentioned above.


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