- Shingles are intense, irritating inflammation found on the nerve ganglia in which the eruption of the skin wounds around the middle part of the body as a girdle.
- The stages of this ailment show its lifetime existence – beginning from the chicken pox rash in childhood, developing to the sore festering rash at 50.
- Shingles share the same type of virus as chicken pox so it easily contaminates people. Even after the rash is gone, the soreness remains.
- Varicella-zoster is the common virus between shingles and chicken pox.
- Those who already had chicken pox have immunity from the same ailment and shingles.
- Pregnant women should not be exposed to people who have the infection.
- First Stage: Chickenpox
Early Stages of Shingles
- Common characteristic of the early stages is the sore rash appearing with the ailment.
- Red patches of festering blisters can also erupt on the skin. These patches are painful and itchy. They occupy a definite part of the body, usually at one side of the waistline or on the face.
- From seven to ten days, blisters continue to appear.
- At the early stages of this ailment, antiviral medicines are quite effective; but when given at the later stage, they lost their effectivity.
- Symptoms of oncoming shingles are fever, fatigue and burning itchy pain on the area where rash appears.
Stages of Shingle Rash
o Everyone who had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles later in life. A body infected with the pox has already the varicella virus which is a member of the family of viruses. A bout with the pox gives immunity but the virus is embedded within the body where it remains dormant.
- Second Stage: Virus Reactivation
o The immune system keeps the varicella virus inactive but as the person ages and suffers from some bodily disorders, there are medications, like prednisone, which weakens the immune system.The weakening defenses awakened the virus which spread all over the cells developing shingles.
- Third Stage: Rash
o The third stage is marked by the appearance of the rash which is later transformed into festering fluid-filled blisters. The rash gives sensations of burning and stinging.
- Fourth Stage: Crust
o Seven to ten days after, blisters are dried and crusted. The scabs peel-off leaving the skin pigmentation of the area irregular. This is either temporary when rash clears within three weeks or permanent in serious shingle cases.
- Fifth Stage: Postherpetic neuralgia
o Few people will still experience pain even after the rash is healed. Known as postherpepetic neuralgia, the patient usually complains of burning pain or stinging on the area where rash appeared. However, after one to three months, the pain resolves and the recovered patient enjoys a pain free one year.