What is shingles and is it contagious? How is it related to chickenpox? – The Irish sun

Shingles is an infection that causes a nagging rash and makes you feel pretty crappy.

The condition is serious enough to merit a visit to your GP, so what symptoms should you watch out for?

Shingles can be painful and uncomfortable, but it's not usually a big problem


Shingles can be painful and uncomfortable, but it’s not usually a big problemPhoto credit: Getty

What is shingles and how is it related to chickenpox?

Shingles is caused by an infection that re-initiates the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

VZV first infects the body when you get chickenpox, and the virus can remain dormant in nerve cells to reappear as shingles.

It’s not fully understood what causes shingles, but old age, a weakened immune system, and chickenpox before the age of 18 months are risk factors.

What are the symptoms of shingles and what does the rash look like?

The most common first sign of shingles is tingling or pain in certain areas of the skin.

Headaches are also the first symptoms to appear.

A rash can then appear, usually on the chest or stomach – but according to the NHS it can also appear on the face, eyes and genitals.

A shingles rash appears as red patches on your skin, just on one side of your body.

Therefore, it is important to know that a rash on the left and right side of the body is unlikely to be shingles.

The patches become itchy blisters that ooze fluid before the blisters dry up and form scabs a few days later.

The rash may form a band that appears on only one side of your body.

It can often be painful until the rash goes away.

You should speak to a family doctor as soon as you suspect you have shingles, as medication can speed recovery.

This works best when taken within three days of the onset of symptoms.

However, it’s best to make an appointment by phone to avoid coming into contact with someone more vulnerable.

How do you treat shingles?

As well as taking prescription medicines, the NHS recommends:

  • Using pain relievers to relieve shingles pain
  • Keeping the rash clean and dry will reduce the risk of infection
  • wear loose-fitting clothing
  • Buy calamine lotion to relieve itching
  • Use a cool compress (a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel or damp cloth) several times a day.

You should not leave bandages or band-aids on the rash or use antibiotic creams as they slow down the healing process.

Is shingles contagious?

Shingles is contagious while the rash oozes fluid — but you can’t get shingles from someone with shingles or chickenpox.

You can get chickenpox from someone with shingles if you’ve never had chickenpox.

If you’re pregnant and get shingles, it shouldn’t be a problem, but tell your GP anyway.

The NHS recommends avoiding contact with:

  • pregnant women who have never had chickenpox
  • People with a weakened immune system, such as B. someone receiving chemotherapy
  • Babies under one month (unless it is your own baby as they should be protected from the virus by your immune system)

https://www.thesun.ie/health/1567333/shingles-rash-symptoms-chickenpox-spread/ What is shingles and is it contagious? How is it related to chickenpox? – The Irish sun

Fry Electronics Team

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