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Shingles (infection)

What is shingles?

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August 06, 2017 3:55AM

Shingles is an infection of nerves and the area of skin around them. It is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox.A

According to the UK National Health Service, the symptoms of shingles is as follows:B

An episode of shingles usually starts with a tingling sensation which will ultimately turn into a localized band of pain in the affected area. This may be a constant mild or burning sensation and can vary from mild to severe in intensity. In the next stage a rash appears which develops into itchy blisters. The fluid in these blisters contains the virus and as such is infectious. Ultimately the blisters will scab over which may leave scarring.

The whole episode of shingles infection commonly lasts from 2 - 4 weeks.B

A personal account of shingles has been given by a previous answerer and is summarized below:

A co-worker had shingles on her cheek. She hugged me goodbye when I left the job. The next thing I knew I came down with shingles! Basically what shingles felt like was that the nerve endings in my skin had exploded. They became raw and full of liquid and hurt like you wouldn't believe. The first sign was a feeling like my skin was "crawling." This must have been the main nerve around my waist that was spreading the shingles. I had 7-8 big patches of exploding nerve endings. It takes about 4-6 weeks to get over them. I was very tired and thought my head was going to explode the first day or two. I still have the scars. When you hear the word SHINGLES run as fast as you can the other way!

Sources:

A Introduction to Shingles: UK National Health Service Website

B Symptoms of Shingles: UK National Health Service Website

What is shingles? Shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral infection of the nerve roots. It causes pain and often causes a rash on one side of the body, the left or right. The rash appears in a band, a strip, or a small area. Shingles is most common in older adults and people who have weak immune systems because of stress, injury, certain medicines, or other reasons. Most people who get shingles will get better and will not get it again. What causes shingles? Shingles occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox starts up again in your body. After you get better from chickenpox, the virus "sleeps" (is dormant) in your nerve roots. In some people, it stays dormant forever. In others, the virus "wakes up" when disease, stress, or aging weakens the immune system. It is not clear why this happens. But after the virus becomes active again, it can only cause shingles, not chickenpox. You can't catch shingles from someone else who has shingles. What are the symptoms? Shingles symptoms happen in stages. At first you may have a headache or be sensitive to light. You may also feel like you have the flu but not have a fever. Later, you may feel itching, tingling, or pain in a certain area. That's where a band, strip, or small area of rash may occur a few days later. The rash turns into clusters of blisters. The blisters fill with fluid and then crust over. It takes 2 to 4 weeks for the blisters to heal, and they may leave scars. Some people only get a mild rash, and some do not get a rash at all. It's possible that you could also feel dizzy or weak, or you could have long-term pain or a rash on your face, changes in your vision, changes in how well you can think, or a rash that spreads. If you have any of these problems from shingles, call your doctor right away. How is shingles treated? There is no cure for shingles, but treatment may help you get well sooner and prevent other problems. Call your doctor as soon as you think you may have shingles. The sooner you start treatment, the better it works. Treatment may include: * Antiviral medicines, sometimes given with steroid medicines, to help you get well sooner and feel less pain. * Medicines to help long-term pain. These include antidepressants, pain medicines, and skin creams. Good home care can help you feel better faster. Take care of any skin sores, and keep them clean. Take your medicines as directed. And use over-the-counter pain medicines to relieve pain. Avoid contact with people until the rash heals. While you have shingles, you can spread chickenpox to people who have never had chickenpox.

It is charecterised by multiple vesicles in a reddish background ,affecting only one half of the body - more particularly, only one ,or at the most, two nerve segments or dermatomes.The whole segment will be painful and the pain persists long after the vesicles dry up(Post-Herpetic Neuralgia) It is charecterised by multiple vesicles in a reddish background ,affecting only one half of the body - more particularly, only one ,or at the most, two nerve segments or dermatomes.The whole segment will be painful and the pain persists long after the vesicles dry up(Post-Herpetic Neuralgia)
Shingles has another name, which is herpes zoster or as zoster. Herpes zoster is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body, often in a stripe.
shingles are something like say you peed the bed the bacteria stay on your body and creates little nasty bumps called SHINGLES
"Shingles" (or Herpes Zoster) is a condition caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus. Varicella-Zoster virus also causes "chickenpox".

After a person becomes infected with the Varicella-Zoster virus - usually developing "chickenpox" as a result - their body's immune system will typically fight off the viral infection, causing an eventual resolution of the symptoms. Afterwards, however, rather than being completely removed from the body, the virus becomes dormant, and lives in the dorsal root ganglia (bundles of nerve bodies just outside the spinal cord).

Later on, usually in later life, and under some sort of stressor that causes an insult to the immune system, the virus becomes active again, typically in a single dorsal root ganglion. Then the virus travels through the nerves that extend from that dorsal root ganglion, and causes a chicken-pox-like rash in the area of the body and especially the skin that is innervated by the nerves from that dorsal root ganglion. An area of skin innervated by a single dorsal root ganglion is called a dermatome. The hallmark of "shingles" is a painful rash in a specific region of the skin (a dermatome). This rash is nearly always on one side of the body, and is limited to a single dermatome.