Yes, you heard it right shingles. It is cringe-worthy yes, but you have absolutely nothing to worry about, shingles are controllable, preventable and curable. For those who have no idea what shingles are, this article has got your back.
Shingles are viral infections resulting from a virus known as varicella-zoster the same germ known to bring about chickenpox. After chickenpox, the virus varicella-zoster becomes inactive and relocates to the spinal cord and brain areas only activating years later to bring on shingles. The virus varicella-zoster checks into a category of viruses known as the herpes viruses, viruses’ notorious causing genital herpes and the cold sores.
Shingles are known to leave a burning or itchy sensation on one’s skin. Though they can manifest on any part of your body, shingles are more common to either the right or left torso of the infected. Consequently, the rash might develop on one eye or half the neck or face. The surprising thing is, some go through shingles without developing a single rash on their skins. Though not grave, shingles can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. While vaccines trim down the risk of occurrence of shingles, timely treatment shortens the shingle infection and lessens the probability of reoccurrence.
Though they only affect part of your body, the signs are easy to spot. The signs are, but not limited to;
Others signs are;
Pain is more often than not, the earliest warning sign of shingles. The pain differs from one person to the next, to some it is unbearable to others it is almost inexistent. Pain located in major body organs such as kidneys, lungs or hearts, is often prone to misdiagnosis.
Like previously stated shingles are in no way life-threatening, but it is advisable to take a trip to your doctor upon seeing the following signs.
Though the causes of shingles are known, the reasons as to why the infection occurs remain unknown. However, rumour has it that the infection might result from the lowered immunity in persons of advanced age. Shingles are common to the old and those with weakened immunity levels.
Yes, shingles are contagious. The virus varicella-zoster can quickly be passed on to any person with zero immunity against chickenpox. The virus, however, can only be passed when one comes into contact with the open shingle sores. The person, however, develops chickenpox instead of shingles.
Till your shingle scabs heal, you should avoid contact with anyone who is yet to develop the illness, pregnant women, and infants.
Any person who has had run-ins with chickenpox is at a higher risk of getting infected with shingles. Other aspects that promote the hazard of getting infected are;
Shingles are preventable. One can prevent them in the following ways.
Although the varivax vaccine is principally administered to young kids as a preventive measure for chicken pox, adults who are yet to suffer from chickenpox are advised to take the vaccine. The vaccine also reduces the rate of shingle infection.
Shingle vaccines are the most guaranteed way of doing away with the infection
As previously stated, shingles are 100% preventable and controllable. Take the shingle vaccine as early as possible, like they say prevention is always the safest option. To those that are already infected, there is no need to panic. Visit your doctor as early as possible for proper diagnosis.
Stephanie Hill is the Chief Editor of Healthy Fixation and blogs regularly on various blogs and health and fitness topics. Stephanie provides personal advice on the latest health news and recommendations on health related issues and products.