Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. VZV lies dormant in your nervous system and only surfaces if the immune system becomes compromised. When you have an illness or injury, such as a wound, a rash, or other medical condition that triggers the release of VZV, you can become infected by it. Shingles, however, is contagious and outbreaks can occur weeks or even months after being exposed.
The virus lies dormant in the nerve cells of the upper layer of the skin, where it waits for a triggering factor. This trigger can come from anything that will cause the body’s nerves to fire. It is possible that exposure to radiation, bacteria, or heat will cause the virus to erupt. In most cases, however, VZV remains dormant until an environmental trigger activates it.
The most common way to diagnose shingles is by obtaining a skin lesion. If there are two or more sores located in different areas of your body, then they may be from different species of the virus. This will determine which type of treatment should be used. The severity of the lesions will also help determine the course of treatment recommended.
The most common symptoms of shingles are pain and redness in the days after exposure. There will also likely be a rash or blisters. These are commonly seen in areas of the body not covered by clothing, such as the thighs, palms, or buttocks. The blister will begin to open up within a few days, becoming larger and spreading before it bursts. The infection types vary based on the area of exposure. Common infection types include:
Allergic Herpes: Similar to chicken pox in nature, this particular type of illness is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Symptoms usually include a rash, fever, muscle aches, and pain. There is no guarantee that all people with symptoms will develop this disease. If you are infected, there is no cure.
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV): This is a different strain than chicken pox and is caused by the same virus. However, the virus is not always detectable by a normal physical exam. Instead, doctors use a virus culture to identify the virus. Since the symptoms are similar to those caused by chicken pox, many people misdiagnose it as chicken pox. However, if tests are performed, it can be determined that you have VZV.
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV): This is a highly contagious form of illness caused by a strain of herpes known as Herpes Simplex Virus Type II. The virus is contracted through an open sore, typically in the lip or mouth. It can be transmitted through any sort of contact. The symptoms are very similar to chicken pox, but no tests are available to confirm or diagnose Herpes Simplex Virus Type II.
Be sure to tell your doctor about all of your health concerns. This will help ensure that you receive the best shingles treatment possible. The doctor will then be able to prescribe a suitable shingles cream for you. Be aware that the shingles virus can lead to more serious problems if left untreated. There is no known cure for Herpes Simplex Virus Type II. While it is not currently known to cause death, it can certainly be uncomfortable and inconvenient.
If you believe you have this disease, you should visit your doctor immediately. Once an infection is diagnosed, there are treatments available that will keep it from spreading. For most people, the pain and discomfort associated with this disease are worth the inconvenience.
When it comes to asking “How is shingles easily spread?” you need to also keep an eye out for the other diseases associated with the virus. Some of these include Dysentery, Pestilence, and Keratitis. These diseases are difficult to contract through non-sexual means. Be sure to have your doctor look at any symptoms you might have such as these.
These are some of the most common questions people ask about shingles. Of course, there are countless others that you probably have not thought of. The best way to stay healthy is to be well informed. Be sure to look into all the information available so that you can make an informed decision.