What causes shingles to activate? Many factors may play a role, including age, certain illnesses, and even cancer treatments. Most people will only experience one bout with shingles, but it is possible for the disease to reactivate after a long time. The severity of shingles depends on the patient’s age, general health, and the part of the body affected by the disease. Some patients experience intense pain and complications.
Treatment options may vary, but a cool compress may help soothe the pain and speed healing. Alternatively, you can apply a frozen bag of peas wrapped in a towel. This will reduce the pain and swelling, though you should avoid holding it against the affected area for longer than 20 minutes. Bathing should be done in cool or warm water, with mild shampoo for shingles. Some people may experience sensitivity to strong perfumes and other chemicals.
While the pain associated with shingles is not pleasant, it can have adverse effects on the immune system. The first signs of shingles are not visible, but they are unpleasant. The affected person will feel tingling or burning, and will probably be very unwell. The person may also experience a fever, so it’s important to avoid scratching the rash. If the rash becomes infected, it may result in cellulitis or bacterial infection. You should avoid scratching the affected area as this can lead to infection and scarring.
Because shingles is a virus, it is difficult to treat without the help of a professional. A physician may need to use special medications to make sure that shingles hasn’t spread. A thorough examination is necessary to identify the exact cause of shingles. You can consult your doctor or dermatologist for a diagnosis. Depending on your age, you may need an immunosuppressant. A low-dose of aspirin may be necessary for treatment.
Having chickenpox as an adult can cause serious, life-threatening complications. While a vaccination with a weakened version of the varicella virus (vaccine) can significantly reduce the risk, it doesn’t eliminate the disease altogether. Although a vaccine can help to reduce your risk of shingles, reactivation of the disease is rare and may be caused by another weakened strain of the virus.
Stress can weaken the immune system. Many people believe that stress can trigger the onset of shingles, but research contradicts this idea. The virus can be spread by any person who has chickenpox or has contact with the liquid produced by a shingles blister. Even after the virus has been removed, a person can still get the disease if the virus is present. Thankfully, shingles is no longer contagious.
The symptoms of shingles include intense burning and itching. Some people experience difficulty sleeping, while others experience intermittent pain. Fortunately, the rash is generally temporary. Treatments may involve taking pain medication over the counter. Depending on the severity of the disease, an over-the-counter NSAID may help. Itching and a rash may also occur between the rash and tingling sensation. If these signs occur in a person with shingles, he or she may also experience depression, anorexia, and fatigue.