Shingles is a condition that causes a painful rash on a specific region of the body. Read on to know more about the signs and symptoms of this condition as well as the various treatment options available.
Shingles is a viral infection that affects a nerve and the skin around it. It generally affects a specific area on your body and is characterized by a painful rash, which over time develops into itchy blisters. Also known as Herpes Zoster or Zona, it is caused by the virus Varicella Zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once you’ve had chickenpox, the zoster virus remains inactive in nerve tissue near your brain and spinal cord. This virus may reactivate years later and this is when you may suffer from shingles. The exact cause of the reactivation of this virus is unknown but most cases are attributed to lower immunity.
Even though shingles is not a life-threatening condition, it greatly affects the quality of your life. An episode of this condition usually lasts for about two to six weeks; after it has run its course, the symptoms disappear on their own. There are, however, around one in five people who develop postherpetic neuralgia in the affected region of the skin. It would be wrong to say that this condition is not contagious because even if you may never catch shingles from another person, you may very well catch chickenpox if you have never had it before.
Although it is more common in elderly people, they are not the only age group to be affected. Also, men are more likely to suffer from this condition than women. There is no known cure for shingles, so the treatment options concentrate on relieving the symptoms associated with this condition. Shingles can indeed be a painful condition with several complications, therefore, it is very crucial to recognize symptoms early and start the treatment as soon as possible.
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