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Can Stress Cause Shingles Outbreak

Diseases That Affect The Immune System

Shingles: What you need to know about causes, symptoms, and prevention.

Many diseases compromise the immune system. Individuals with HIV, AIDS, or cancer — conditions that already weaken the immune system — have a much greater risk of developing shingles. While the shingles virus can stay dormant for years, it is likely to take advantage of a time when the immune system is lowered for other reasons.

How Do You Get Shingles

Shingles usually occurs from inside your own body when the chickenpox virus reactivates. If you have not had chickenpox, you cant get shingles.

If you have not had chickenpox, you can be infected with chickenpox from someone who has shingles. This happens if you come in contact with the fluid from shingles blisters.

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7 February, 2022 by International Medical Clinic

Shingles is a viral illness in which a painful rash develops. The rash can occur anywhere on your body although, it often appears as a stripe of blisters that wrap around the left or right side of your torso. The symptoms generally only affect a small section of one side of your body.

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What Should I Expect Will Happen To Me If I Get Shingles

Shingles can be a very painful condition. If you think you have the symptoms of shingles, see your healthcare provider right away. Starting antiviral medications early can ease your discomfort and reduce the duration of your symptoms.

A better approach to shingles is to take action and do what you can to lessen your risk of getting it. If you never had shingles or had a bout of them in the past, talk to your healthcare provider about getting the shingles vaccine. If youve never had chickenpox, talk with your healthcare provider about getting the chickenpox vaccine.

Are There Complications Of Shingles

Can the liquid in shingle blisters create more rashes ...

Shingles can have complications that last long after the rash is gone, including:

  • Brain inflammation or facial paralysis if it affects certain nerves
  • Eye problems and vision loss if your rash was in or around your eye
  • Pain that lasts long after the outbreak, called postherpetic neuralgia. It affects up to 1 in 5 people who get shingles.

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When Should I See My Doctor

See your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms of shingles. Starting treatment with antiviral medicines within 3 days of the rash appearing should reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of further complications, including post-herpetic neuralgia.

See your doctor straight away if you have symptoms of shingles and are experiencing the following:

  • symptoms that affect your eye area
  • a temperature of 38°C or higher

You should also see your doctor if you are pregnant, or have a weakened immune system due to medicine that suppresses the immune system, or a condition that weakens your immune system.

What Are Risk Factors For Shingles

A weakened immune system might wake up the virus. After youâve had chickenpox, youâre more likely to get shingles if you:

  • Are 50 or older
  • Are under a lot of stress
  • Have cancer, HIV, or another disease that lowers your bodyâs defenses
  • Have had a serious physical injury
  • Take long-term steroids or other medicines that can weaken your immune system

But many people who get shingles donât fit into any of these categories.

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What Can We Do To Help Prevent Shingles

Once you have had chickenpox, you will always be at risk of developing shingles. About 1 in 4 people will develop shingles in their lifetime, more commonly seen in people over 50 yrs. Some may develop shingles more than once. Of course, reducing the stress load on the body with healthy lifestyle choices can reduce but not negate this risk. So, another option to protect yourself from shingles is choosing to have the Shingles vaccine, which is included in the adult immunisation programme in the UK, USA and Australia, and many other European countries.

How Do You Prevent Shingles

Shingles: What Are the Causes and Best Treatments?

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect against shingles in most people. The shingles vaccine should not be given to people who are immunocompromised.

For more information on shingles immunisation, see Shingles immunisation service.

Shingles is less contagious than chickenpox. The risk of spreading the disease is low if the rash is covered. When the rash has developed crusts, you are no longer infectious.

If you have shingles, you should:

  • cover the rash
  • avoid touching or scratching the rash
  • wash your hands often to prevent the virus from spreading.

Avoid contact with these people until the rash has developed crusts:

  • pregnant women who have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine
  • premature or low birthweight babies
  • children who have not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine
  • people with weakened immune systems, such as people who:
  • have had chemotherapy
  • are taking other medicines that weaken their immune system
  • have had a transplant
  • are living with HIV.

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How Is Shingles Treated

Like other viral infections, shingles will resolve on its own if left untreated. However, in specific clinical situations, a course of anti-viral medications can reduce the duration and severity of the shingles rash. In addition, it can minimise post-infection complications such as post-herpetic neuralgia . This is especially important if the rash affects certain parts of the body, the rash is causing severe pain and inflammation, or the patient is above 50 years of age or is immunosuppressed. The anti-viral medication is most effective if given within 72hours of the rash appearing. A course usually lasts for seven days and is generally well tolerated. Other helpful treatments include calamine lotion for the itch and painkillers to manage the pain.

First What Causes Shingles

If youve had chickenpox as a child, you may develop shingles later on in life. However, very rarely people who have not had chickenpox before have developed shingles. Even after you have overcome the chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in your bodys nerve cells. Shingles occur when the chickenpox virus called varicella zoster virus reactivates, causing a painful rash of blisters to appear. Shingles typically last anywhere from two to six weeks. Typically, the first symptom of shingles is a burning sensation or tingling pain that occurs on one side of the body in a band-like pattern. You may also feel itching and severe pain from even the lightest touch.

As you get older, your risk of developing shingles increases. The majority of people who develop shingles are 50 and older. As we age, our immune systems become less effective at defending us against bacterial, fungi and viral infections, making us more susceptible to the shingles virus.

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Is Shingles Contagious

It is not possible to catch shingles from someone else with the condition, or from someone with chickenpox.

However, it is possible for someone who has never had chickenpox to catch it from someone with shingles, as the shingles blisters contains the live virus.

In the UK, chickenpox is so common during childhood that 9 out of 10 adults have already had it and will not be at risk from someone with shingles.

How Is It Treated

Shingles: Symptoms, contagiousness, and treatment

It is best to start treatment as soon as possible after you notice the rash. See your healthcare provider to discuss treatment with antiviral medicine, such as acyclovir. This medicine is most effective if you start taking it within the first 3 days of the rash. Antiviral medicine may speed your recovery and lessen the chance that the pain will last for a long time.

Your provider may also recommend or prescribe:

  • medicine for pain
  • antibacterial salves or lotions to help prevent bacterial infection of the blisters
  • corticosteroids

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Does Stress Increase My Risk Of Shingles

Stress may increase your risk of shingles, however age is the most important risk factor for developing shingles, as most cases of shingles occur in adults 50 years and older.

Hidden Text

Im up for almost anything somebody wants to try, whether its something old or new, Im in. But not when I had shingles. I was out. Do anything you can not to get it.

Pat Knaust,former shingles sufferer and GSK spokesperson

Is That Rash By My Eye Really Shingles

Shingles tends to show up most frequently on the torso, just because of the laws of probability, notes Joseph Safdieh, MD, a professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. In that area of your body, there are 24 nerves that can host the virus, compared with the 10 in your lower back.

Often, its not what the rash looks like, but what it feels like before and after it shows up, that signals the condition. Up to several days before the shingles rash appears, pain, itching, or tingling often occurs in the area where it will develop.

In the days before the rash appears, a variety of other flu-like symptoms of shingles can occur. You may experience:

You may even experience the pain but not the rash. Because the pain of shingles originates in the nerves, it may have a different quality than any other pain you may have experienced before.

Neuropathic pain is burning, says Dr. Safdieh. Its both numb and painful at the same time, and can be provoked by touching the skin. Your skin may be so sensitive that even sunlight can bring on a stabbing sensation.

Even if you arent sure you have shingles, you should still see a doctor right away, because immediate treatment can prevent complications like long-term nerve pain.

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Does Stress Literally Cause Shingles

The quick but incomplete answer is no. Shingles is caused by a virusthe varicella zoster virus that, before a vaccine became widely available in 1995, caused chicken pox mainly in children up to 12 years of age. At the conclusion of the disease phase of chicken pox, VZV retreats to the central nervous system , and like a hibernating bear in a cave, goes dormant. The problem is that decades later, the virus can wake up and reemerge along nerve pathways, erupting in painful, itchy blisters and, for some, complications including herpes zoster opthalmicus and postherpetic neuralgia , which is potentially debilitating pain along the same pathways that can last for months, and sometimes years, after the rash retreats. About 1 million Americans develop shingles every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control , or 1 in 3 adults over 50, when risk begins to climb dramatically.

The reason the virus becomes empowered to charge back with such a vengeance later in life has to do with a decline in the bodys immune response to bacteria, viruses, and fungi that naturally lowers with age. This weakened defense is where experts see a potential relationship between the bodys response to stressof all kinds, physical and emotionaland how our inner chemistry can affect the immune function from keeping VZV at bay.

Stress And Shingles Mind And Body Are One

What is Shingles?

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states…Read More

There is probably no more painful an experience than to be stricken with shingles. Shingles is also known as the Herpes Zoster virus. Anyone who has had chicken pox is in danger of developing shingles. Essentially, Chicken Pox is known as Varicella-Zoster virus. It never really leaves the system, lying dormant waiting for some trigger to set it off in the form of shingles. Shingles can attack any part of the body. It appears as a rash that irritates the nerves and that is what makes it so painful. It can range in seriousness from being mild and attacking a very small part of the body all the way to being severe even threatening eyesight if it occurs near the eyes.

If anything, shingles is a harsh reminder that mind and body are not separate. This is how it works:

Its important that people adopt methods of living that reduce the impact of stress. For example, physical exercise, meditation, yoga, eating healthfully and living a life that balances work and leisure, can all mitigate the negative impact of stress.

If you even suspect that you might have shingles see your doctor right away. The symptoms include, itching, burning and rash on your skin. Some people even develop a fever. I know, I have had the illness. It can be serious so do not wait to see your doctor.

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Who Should Be Vaccinated With Shingrix

The Shingrix vaccine is recommended for those 50 years of age and older who are in good health.

You should get the Shingrix vaccine even if:

  • You have had shingles already.
  • You have been previously vaccinated with Zostavax .
  • You do not know for sure if youve ever had chickenpox.

Ask your healthcare provider, who knows your entire health history, if getting this vaccine is right for you.

If Ive Had Chickenpox Once In My Life Can I Get It Again

Its rare to get chickenpox twice in your life. Once youve had chickenpox, youre usually immune to it for the rest of your life. However, its not totally impossible. If you have a severely weakened immune system , you can get chickenpox a second time. If youve had chickenpox, you are more likely to get shingles at some point in your life than a repeat bout of chickenpox.

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Oral Care With Shingles

If you have developed new or have healing shingles blisters in the mouth, maintain proper oral hygiene so the ruptured blisters don’t get infected. Be careful not to irritate the blisters with your toothbrush, which may slow healing and make them more painful. However, keep brushing your teeth and flossing daily. Your dentist may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash to keep your mouth clean to promote healing.

How Does It Occur

Is there any way I can get prescribed pain medication ...

If you have had chickenpox, you are at risk for later developing shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays in your body. It moves to the roots of your nerve cells and becomes inactive . Later, if the virus becomes active again, shingles is the name given to the symptoms it causes.

What exactly causes the virus to become active is not known. A weakened immune system seems to allow reactivation of the virus. This may occur with normal aging, immune-suppressing medicines, or another illness, or after major surgery. It can also happen as a complication of cancer or AIDS or treatment of these illnesses. Chronic use of steroid drugs may trigger shingles. The virus may also become active again after the skin is injured or sunburned. Emotional stress seems to be a common trigger as well.

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Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 As Soon As You Suspect Shingles

You might need medicine to help speed up your recovery and avoid longer-lasting problems.

This works best if taken within 3 days of your symptoms starting.

111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or .

Get an urgent GP appointment

A GP may be able to treat you.

Ask your GP surgery for an urgent appointment.

Radiation Or Chemotherapy Treatment

Individuals who have cancer and are being treated with chemotherapy or radiation are at an increased risk of developing shingles. Such treatments not only kill cancer cells, but they also kill healthy cells. This lowers resistance to bacterial or viral infections. These individuals should stay away from anyone who has chickenpox or shingles.

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What Can Be Mistaken For Shingles

Shingles can sometimes be mistaken for another skin conditions, such as hives, psoriasis, or eczema. Share on Pinterest A doctor should always be consulted if shingles is suspected. The characteristics of a rash may help doctors identify the cause. For example, hives are often raised and look like welts.

You Cannot Get Shingles From Someone With Chickenpox

Shingles: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, 3 stages of Infection, Complications, Management, Animation.

You cannot get shingles from someone with shingles or chickenpox.

But you can get chickenpox from someone with shingles if you have not had chickenpox before.

When people get chickenpox, the virus remains in the body. It can be reactivated later and cause shingles if someone’s immune system is lowered.

This can be because of stress, certain conditions, or treatments like chemotherapy.

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Is There A Vaccine Against Shingles

Shingix is currently the only shingles vaccine available in the United States. Its given to people over age 50.

Previously, an additional vaccine, Zostavax, was used, but it was phased out in the United States as of November 2020.

According to the CDC, two doses of Shingrix are over 90 percent effective at preventing shingles. Youll retain at least 85 percent protection for 4 years after being vaccinated.

If you get shingles after being vaccinated, your symptoms will likely be less severe. Youll also have a lower chance of developing postherpetic neuralgia a complication where pain remains even after a shingles rash goes away.

Shingles usually follows a pattern of development. It typically progresses with the following symptoms:

  • First, you may notice a tingling or burning sensation in your skin.
  • One to 5 days later a rash appears as small red spots.
  • Fluid-filled blisters develop a few days later.
  • After 7 to 10 days, the lesions crust over.
  • The rash disappears over the next 2 to 4 weeks.

In some cases, pain may persist for several months or even years after the rash has disappeared. This complication, known as postherpetic neuralgia , can be severe enough to affect your quality of life.

Certain antiseizure medications can help manage the pain. Gabapentin and pregabalin are two that are commonly used.

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