Shingles Rash – First Sign of a Shingles Outbreak

Shingles, also called herpes zoster, will cause a very painful skin rash. These shingles are caused by the virus known as Vermicelli zoster virus, which is also said to cause chickenpox. If a person has had chickenpox in the past, this virus was dormant in their nervous tissue. If, due to any physical stress, the immune system is weakened, the virus triggers the spread along the nerve fibers to the specific skin area where the corresponding nerve, defined as a dermatome, is abundant. When a Shingles rash appears on an affected body, they will suffer from pain and itching or tingling sensations as well as a burning sensation on the skin.

Shingles Rashes take the form of blisters that look like chickenpox lesions. They are said to concentrate in a particular area where a particular nerve is located. You will see blisters in the entire path of the patient’s nerve, or just in the confident areas where the nerve gives off. Shingles and blisters burst after a period of time and gradually crust over and then heal.

The full shingles outbreak will remain for more than three weeks. If a person next to a person with shingles does not have the appropriate immunity due to chickenpox vaccine or previous infection, they will easily be caught by the virus circulating all the way through the ruptured blisters of the infected person.

The pain from a shingles rash is unbearable and can be compared to pain from appendicitis or a heart attack and kidney stone. The pain varies depending on the nerve location where the infection occurred.

The diagnosis of shingles is made by examining the growth of the specific shingles rash. With the use of antiviral drugs, the duration of the rash can be shortened, but the effectiveness of such drugs is limited. Shingles pain is sometimes controlled using pain medications or steroids.

People with the appropriate immune system will certainly recover from shingles, but relapses are always possible. As older people tend to be affected by this disease as they tend to have weak immune systems due to old age. Records have found cases of shingles mostly in people over the age of 60. In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vaccine called Zostavax, which is actually the first vaccine of its kind against shingles. The vaccine can be administered to people over the age of 60. The vaccine has been proven to be 60% effective in reducing the symptoms of this disease, including Shingles, and at least two-thirds of the painful complication commonly referred to as postherpetic neuralgia.

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