At What Age Should You Get The Shingles Vaccine – To describe shingles is not for the faint of heart. It’s an ugly, painful rash that can sometimes lead to long-term nerve pain. It usually appears as a single strip of blisters that wrap around the left or right side of the torso. The rash turns into fluid-filled blisters, which usually takes about 7-10 days to dry out and begin to heal.
Although it is not a life-threatening condition, it can be quite painful. The best way to shorten the shingles infection and reduce the chances of infection is early treatment.
At What Age Should You Get The Shingles Vaccine
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus – the same virus that causes chickenpox. After chickenpox, the virus may be inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, there may be a possibility that the virus reactivated as shingles. (Mayo Clinic)
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When the virus reactivates, it travels along the nerve fibers to the skin and causes the shingles rash. Not everyone who has chickenpox develops shingles. Although the exact cause of shingles is unclear, one reason behind the reactivation of the virus is a weakened immune system. Since this happens as we grow older, shingles is more common in older adults or those with a weakened immune system.
A person with shingles can spread the varicella-zoster virus to those who have never had chickenpox and are not vaccinated. Until the blisters heal, a person with shingles is contagious. They must avoid physical contact, especially with newborns, pregnant women, those who have not had chickenpox and those with a weak immune system.
Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles. Those looking for a shingles vaccine have two FDA-approved options: Zostavax and Shingrix.
Zostavax was approved in 2006, and although it is no longer sold in the US, US, some other countries may use it. Shingrix is the preferred alternative to Zostavax since it is considered more than 90% effective.
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According to the CDC, it’s recommended that people 50 and older get it, even if you’ve had shingles before. It is advisable to get Shingrix, even if you have already had the Zostavax vaccine. (ratini)
It is important to note that the shingles vaccine does not eliminate the possibility of developing shingles entirely. However, it effectively reduces the rate and severity of shingles and decreases the chances of postherpetic neuralgia.
There are several home remedies that can help with the discomfort and pain of shingles. Some popular remedies include
Oatmeal Bath – Pour 1 to 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal or cornstarch into lukewarm bath water and soak for 15-20 minutes. Do not use hot water. Hot water can worsen shingles blisters because heat increases blood flow.
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Cool Wet Compress – Be sure to use a clean cloth or washcloth. Do not use ice as this may worsen symptoms.
Create a paste – Use cornstarch or baking soda and water to naturally relieve itching caused by a shingles rash. Pour two parts cornstarch or baking soda into a cup. Add one part water to get the desired consistency for the paste. Apply the mixture to your rash. Rinse it off after 10-15 minutes. Repeat several times a day as needed.
The shingles vaccine is only used as a prevention strategy, and it cannot treat someone who currently has the disease. Early treatment is critical, so contact a doctor immediately if symptoms of shingles are seen. Talk to your doctor to learn about the different treatment options. Sometimes extreme pain will send a shingles sufferer to the ER. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and seek medical advice, especially if you’ve never had shingles.
Category: Doctor’s Corner Tag: chicken pox (varicella zoster virus), fever, headaches, intense pain, itching, red skin, shingles (herpes zoster virus), shingles vaccine, shooting pain, skin burning, skin tingling shingles, also known as Herpes zoster is a painful skin rash that occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox reactivates.
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Typically, shingles appear on a small area on one side of the face or body. The rash is often painful because it travels up nerve roots (which provide sensation to your skin) to the area of skin supplied by the specific nerve roots.
Anyone who has chickenpox can get shingles, but people over the age of 50 are at greater risk.
Shingles is most common in older adults and those with weakened immune systems due to stress, injury, underlying conditions, or certain medications and immunosuppressant medications.
The symptoms of shingles appear gradually and in stages, starting with a headache, sensitivity to light and flu-like feelings. During the second stage, pain, itching or tingling occurs. Soon after, the area will produce a rash, which will be a cluster of blisters that can take 2-4 weeks to heal.
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A rash can appear anywhere on the body, but will be only on one side – the left or right. First, the rash will form blisters, then scab over and eventually clear up. This may take several weeks.
The rash typically wraps around the body from the middle of the back to the chest, but can also appear on the face and even around the eye. It is also possible to have more than one area of rash on your body at one time.
This stage includes pain, burning, tingling and / or numbness that occurs in the area around the affected nerves several days or weeks before a rash appears. This stage may also include flu-like symptoms (usually without a fever), as well as swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes.
During this stage, a band, strip or small area of rash appears and blisters begin to form. The rash can appear anywhere on the body, but will be present only on one side. Fluid inside the blisters is clear, but may become cloudy after 3-4 days.
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Piercing pain may occur along with the skin rash and blisters may ooze, break or crust over. Typically, the rash heals in 2-4 weeks, although some scars may remain.
Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is the most common complication of shingles and can last 30 days to several years. Symptoms include an aching, burning or stabbing pain in the area of the previous shingles rash and extreme sensitivity to touch. Pain associated with PHN most commonly affects the forehead or chest and can make it difficult to eat, sleep, and conduct daily activities.
Shingles can be confused with other conditions that cause similar symptoms such as an infection from the herpes simplex virus (HSV), poison oak or ivy, impetigo or scabies. Likewise, the pain of PHN can be confused with symptoms of appendicitis, heart attack, ulcers, or migraine headaches.
Shingles is treated with antiviral medications as well as medications to relieve pain. You should also practice good self-care, including getting plenty of rest and eating well.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that adults age 60 and older get the shingles vaccine.
A shingles vaccine was developed to lower your chances of getting shingles and preventing the long-term pain called neuralgia that can occur after shingles. vaccine. I had chickenpox when I was a child. Is the shingles vaccine something you would recommend for someone like me? What are the side effects of the vaccine?
Answer: Once you’ve had chickenpox, the virus that causes it—called the varicella-zoster virus—stays in your body for the rest of your life. The virus can be reactivated at any time, causing shingles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recommends that adults age 60 and older get the shingles vaccine, whether you’ve had shingles or not.
When you get chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus causes a rash to develop all over your body. Even though it is itchy and uncomfortable, most people recover from chickenpox without lasting problems. After the rash goes away, however, the virus remains and goes into hiding in your body’s nerve cells.
What You Need To Know About Shingles
As you grow older, when your body is stressed—sometimes because of another infection or perhaps due to medications that suppress your immune system—the varicella-zoster virus can be reactivated. But rather than getting a whole body rash again, you get a rash only in the areas supplied by the nerve where the virus is activated.
Shingles typically involves a band-like rash on the chest, back or face. The rash usually is quite painful. Most people recover from shingles within a few days, but a small number continue to develop severe pain along the nerve that was irritated when the virus came back. This lingering pain, called postherpetic neuralgia, can last for weeks to months after the shingles episode. In some cases, the pain can be severe and very difficult to treat.
The shingles vaccine is recommended for people 60 and older because this population is at increased risk of developing shingles. As we age, our immunity to the varicella-zoster virus decreases. This raises the chances of the varicella-zoster virus reactivating. Getting a shingles vaccine can help prevent reactivation.
The most common side effects of the shingles vaccine are redness, pain, tenderness, itching and swelling at the injection site. in