Shingles

Other names: Herpes zoster, Zoster

DEFINITION

Shingles is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus responsible for Chickenpox. It manifests as a painful rash typically appearing as a single stripe of blisters on one side of the torso.

SYMPTOMS

CAUSES

Shingles is a result of the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that remains dormant in nerve tissue after a person has had Chickenpox. Factors like aging and weakened immune systems can trigger this reactivation.

RISK FACTORS

COMPLICATIONS

TREATMENTS

Antiviral drugs like Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, and Famciclovir can help speed up healing. Pain management medications and topical treatments may also be prescribed.

PREVENTION

Vaccines such as the Chickenpox vaccine for children and adults and the Shingles vaccine for individuals over 50 can help prevent Shingles or reduce its severity.


QUESTIONS

  1. What virus causes Shingles?

Varicella-zoster virus

  1. What are the common symptoms of Shingles?

Pain, burning, numbness, tingling, rash with blisters

  1. Who is at higher risk of developing Shingles?

Individuals over 50 years old

  1. How can Shingles be prevented?

Through vaccines like the Chickenpox and Shingles vaccines

  1. What complications can arise from Shingles?

Postherpetic neuralgia, vision loss, neurological issues, skin infections

  1. Is Shingles contagious?

The virus can be spread to those not immune to Chickenpox but will cause Chickenpox, not Shingles.

  1. What treatments are available for Shingles?

Antiviral drugs, pain management medications, and topical treatments

  1. What should you do if you suspect you have Shingles near your eye?

Contact your doctor promptly to prevent potential eye damage.

  1. How long does a typical Shingles infection last?

Usually between two to six weeks.

  1. Can someone get Shingles more than once?

While rare, it is possible for individuals to experience multiple episodes of Shingles.