How Do You Know When It’s Shingles?

by Nancy

As many as one million Americans suffer from the shingles virus each year. The same chicken pox virus, herpes zoster, is what causes this virus. If you had the chicken pox years ago, sometime after the age of 50 you may suffer from this virus. This is because the virus can cause an infection to remain dormant within your body. The virus remains dormant as you get older, your immunity lowers, you are treated by radiation, or your immunity is suppressed by medication.

Tele Health Call

If you are a person plagued by the shingles virus, you certainly want to get rid of your pain. However, that’s not the only reason. Shingles is a virus that can cause you complications including:

  • Infections – Infections often occur if the blisters of the rash break open and aren’t kept clean. Older adults are more prone to developing an infection, and it is especially important for an adult to take proper care of a blister which has broken open in order to prevent postherpetic neuralgia, vision loss, and neurological problems.
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia – Postherpetic neuralgia is a condition that continues to cause you pain after the rash is gone. This is because your nerves are damaged, and because of that damage, they send erroneous messages to your brain. The older you are; the more likely you will suffer from this complication. The pain is usually gone within a few months, but some people continue to suffer from its pain for years.
  • Vision Loss – Sometimes the rash occurs close to your eyes. If this happens to you, it may cause an eye infection which may result in your loss of vision.
  • Neurological Problems – This virus sometimes damages nerves. The outcome of nerve damage can cause your brain to swell, give you balance problems, paralyze your face, or give you hearing problems.

You may be fooled by the virus’s ability to mimic other conditions such as scabies or poison ivy. This fact makes it especially difficult for you to know the best treatment for this virus. For that reason, you may want to know which virus is causing you problems.

The First Physical Symptoms of the Virus

If you aren’t sure which virus is causing your rash, the following physical reactions may tip you off, and you’ll know what the best treatment is for this virus. The rash of this virus usually begins on the abdomen. It then spreads rapidly to your neck, chest, and extremities. The rash is generally reddish, itchy, sore, and blotchy as it travels across your skin.

This Virus Disguises Itself

The ability of this virus to appear to be another illness allows it to sneak up on you. When it does, you may ask yourself if you have this virus. Since symptoms of this virus are the same as those for the flu or a cold such as being fatigued, in pain, or having chills, you most likely do have this virus. Other indications you have this virus are having a headache, a fever, and suffering from nausea with a rash appearing before or during the period of the rash. Of course, you should be careful to properly medicate this virus.

The Sores of the Rash May Get Large

If you have the herpes zoster virus, your discomfort won’t last that long. The virus usually lasts only a few weeks to a month. However, your symptoms may get worse over time. If your sores get bigger and their pain gets worse, the herpes zoster virus is most likely what you are suffering from.

In order to avoid damaging your nerves, you shouldn’t touch or scratch the sores of your rash. The areas where your rash has been the worst may continue to give you pain after you have recovered from this virus. The damaged nerves under your skin can give you excruciating pain, and it may be difficult to know the best treatment.

The information above should help you to know if you do have this virus . Hopefully, by knowing you have this virus, you can prevent the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems from coming down with the virus. You can do this by keeping a safe distance from them.