Have you had chickenpox? If so, you have a high chance of also getting shingles. Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. The virus lies dormant in your body after you get chickenpox and resurfaces later in life if your immune system weakens and allows the virus to make another appearance.
What happens if I get shingles?
Shingles usually presents as a rash and can cause a stabbing pain. Headaches, sensitivity to light, itchiness, and flu-like symptoms can be linked to shingles. It can be constant or intermittent. A rash will then occur on one side of the body in a strip or small area and can last up to 30 days. The rash then turns into fluid-filled blisters. It may sound like a traumatizing experience but most people who get shingles will not get the disease again.
How can I prevent it?
Adults 60 and over should receive the shingles vaccine. Although shingles is not always preventable, risk for complications can be. By getting medical treatment as soon as possible, you can decrease your likelihood of developing complications. Some common ones are:
To avoid these complications or possibly spreading the disease to others, you want to take care of your skin when it is most vulnerable. Here are some tips:
The sooner you get treated by your doctor, the less likely you will develop any complications that could negatively affect your life and well-being. Schedule with your dermatologist if you think you may have shingles.