What is shingles? Shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash. Shingles symptoms include skin itching, painful rash or blisters, fever and headache. Many people experience this painful condition each year including PAIN DOCTOR Pain & Regenerative Medicine’s patients in the Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas area.
What is Shingles?
Many people ask the question, “What is shingles?” Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus responsible for the chickenpox. If an individual experiences the chickenpox, the virus remains in the body. Later in life the virus may reappear as shingles.
Nearly one out of every three individuals in the United States will develop shingles in their life. Children may experience the painful condition, but it is more common in aging adults. It is estimated that half of all cases are in adults over 60 years of age.
Certain individuals are at a higher risk of developing shingles including:
- Individuals with medical conditions that keep their immune systems down such as HIV or leukemia
- Individuals who receive immunosuppressive drugs such as steroids after an organ transplant
There is no cure for shingles so knowing the shingles symptoms and getting medication early helps fight the virus and pain.
What are the Shingles Symptoms?
Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain, tingling or itching, usually on one side of the face or body. The pain associated with this condition can range from mild to severe. The painful rash or blisters then appear in the affected area up to 14 days later. The rash or blisters commonly occur in one single stripe around either side of the face or body.
Other shingles symptoms include:
- Upset stomach
The pain of shingles may last for weeks, months or even years after the rash and blisters have healed. Some individuals may experience eye damage or loss of sight if the rash or blisters affect the eye area.
The only way to reduce the risk of shingles and the painful shingles symptoms is to get vaccinated. The CDC recommends people over the age of 60 get vaccinated.
PAIN DOCTOR Pain & Regenerative Medicine is here to help all patients in the Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas area who need more information on shingles symptoms. We are also here to answer the common question, “What is shingles?”