What does shingles look like? Shingles is a serious condition that causes many different types of symptoms. These symptoms are caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is a herpes simplex virus. Shingles is most commonly associated with younger children and people who have weaker immune systems, so if you have any of the risk factors mentioned above, you are at a higher risk for developing this condition.
Many people confuse shingles with chicken pox, since the symptoms can be similar. However, shingles is not a sexually transmitted disease, so it doesn’t cause the same level of risk that other diseases do. The main symptom is pain that usually occurs in the face and ears. The virus often causes a rash as well, but the rash will not typically be painful unless the virus has traveled to other areas of the body.
There are two different types of shingles: the viral infection and the non-viral infection. The viral infection causes the painful rash, while the non-viral infection does not. Varying symptoms can occur in either type, including fever, headache, muscle pain, skin rash, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and diarrhea. In rare cases, men may also experience swelling of the testicles or a small painful rash in the scrotum area.
Because shingles can strike without warning, it can pose a risk for both the person who has it and their immune systems. People who suffer from underlying health conditions can be at a higher risk of developing complications. Women who have been pregnant or are expecting will also have a greater risk of complications if they develop shingles.
After six weeks, most people notice improvement, but complications can arise. These complications include an infection called icterus that results from the weakened immune systems and more painful symptoms. Icing can occur in between the outbreaks, but is most common on the first day or following the third outbreak. It’s important to seek medical attention right away, especially if the itching doesn’t go away and you notice a scab forming. Doctors can perform a series of tests to confirm infections and verify that your body is fighting off the infection.
If you have weak immune systems, the pain and itching can become worse. Your symptoms will increase during the night and return during the day. It is possible to develop shingles if you have a family history of the problem, but pain and itching can occur without any previous history. When the blisters appear, they are red and tender and can sometimes feel like a band saw is pressing on them. They can also produce a severe burning sensation when touched.
Shingles can be caused by a virus or bacteria, which makes it difficult to prevent. If you develop shingles, the chances are it was caused by the virus. Some of the causes of shingles are: vaccines, immune disorders, diseases such as meningitis, diabetes, and heart disease. Shingles is not contagious, so you cannot pass it on to a loved one or someone who shares your symptoms. However, the painful rash can spread from person to person and it may cause discomfort for those who suffer from it.
In rare cases, the pain from shingles can cause a herniated disk, which can cause pain in the lower back or spine. This condition is called postherpetic neuralgia. Postherpetic neuralgia has been shown to be contagious, but doctors cannot prevent it from spreading once symptoms are noticed. Shingles, however, can be avoided by avoiding medications that can make symptoms worse, such as aspirin, certain medications used to treat allergies, and varicella-zoster virus medications.