The shingles area is a viral infection considered the most common complication of varicella. After the symptoms of varicella disappear, the virus remains in a latent state in the body, but it can be reactivated at any time, throughout life, in which case the shingles area appears. Find out more about the connection between the two viral conditions and what you need to know about the shingles area!
Causes of shingles
The shingles and chickenpox area are caused by the same virus - chickenpox. The infection occurs after reactivation of the virus in the body. After a child or adult has had chickenpox, the virus remains in the body all their life, but in a latent state. When the body is under severe stress or there are factors that influence the reactivation of the virus, there is a risk of shingles occurring. According to doctors, stress, weakening of the immune system and age are factors that cause the reactivation of the varicella-zosterian virus.
Mode of transmission of shingles
The shingles area is a highly contagious viral infection, which is transmitted in the same way as chickenpox, only to people who have not done the disease until then and do not have the virus in the body. Although coming into contact with the bladder bladder is the main mode of transmission, the specialists have shown that the virus also spreads in the air, from the painful blisters, which means that it is transmitted by air.
Symptoms of the shingles area
With regard to a reactivation of the varicello-zosterian virus, it is not known exactly what the incubation period is until the first symptoms appear. But doctors believe that if the shingles area comes from a triggering factor, the incubation period falls somewhere between 4-7 days.
The shingles area develops and manifests in several stages:
- the prodrome - the period before the onset of the rash;
- active stage - in which the vesicles appear;
- postherpetic neuralgia - the stage of chronic pain.
Unlike chickenpox, where the vesicles spread throughout the body, the shingles area affects only a portion of the body, and among the main signs of the disease are:
- pain, burning sensation, numbness or tingling;
- red irritations that appear after a few days after the onset of pain and burning sensation;
- instead of the irritation, which is initially characterized by redness of the skin, the vesicles filled with fluid appear, as in the case of varicella;
- itching sensation (itching).
The shingles area may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- fever and chills;
- sensitivity to light;
The first sign of the disease is local pain, on a certain portion of the body. It is only after a few days that the bubbles are filled with liquid. If in the case of varicella, itching was a disturbing symptom, in the shingles area, the itching spot is taken by pain, even if the itching is not completely ruled out.
Complications of the shingles area
The shingles area can lead to several complications, if not diagnosed in time or treated properly:
- postherpetic neuralgia (it is a stage of the evolution of the disease that can worsen);
- neurological lesions (facial paralysis, brain inflammation - encephalitis; balance problems);
- scattered shingle area;
- ophthalmic shingles (a severe complication that can lead to vision loss);
- bacterial infection of the vesicles;
- scars and depigmentations of the skin.
Treatment for shingles area
Like chickenpox, the shingles area is not treated with drugs, but the doctor may prescribe antivirals to prevent the spread of eruption in other areas of the body and to reduce the risk of complications. Prescription antiviral medicines include:
The doctor may also prescribe medication for the relief of severe symptoms:
- tricyclic antidepressants;
- local anesthetics (gels, creams, sprays, etc.);
The shingles area can be prevented with two vaccines currently available - the one against varicella and the one against the shingles.
Have you ever done shingles? What about chicken pox? If so, how did you manage to overcome it easier? Tell us your suggestions in the comments section below!