What does shingles look like? You have probably heard of this disease, but very few of us actually know what it looks like. Shingles is known as Herpes Zoster virus. This condition is characterized by blisters that appear on skin. Varicella Zoster virus is responsible for this condition. If you have ever had chickenpox (when you were a kid), it is probable that you still have the virus inside your body. This virus can remain dormant for decades, and suddenly – it can activate and cause shingles.
Who Is at Risk of Getting Shingles?
As we said, people who had chickenpox in their childhood are at risk of getting shingles. This happens because Varicella Zoster virus remains in the body. It is not active, but it is there. The virus can become active anytime, causing shingles. Shingles can be defined as returning chickenpox.
What Does Shingles Look Like?
Shingles is characterized by blisters that appear on skin. This happens when a person’s immune system gets very weak. Immune system can become weak due to various factors, like stress, certain medications, other illnesses, etc. Stress is known to cause immune system problems. It affects the entire body and causes problems with different types of infections. Shingles can be one of them.
Shingles symptoms include:
• Energy levels suddenly drop and you can feel fatigue.
• You can also experience unexpected chills
• Fever can occur and can last for several days. It is usually accompanied by headaches. These headaches are quite persistent. As you can see, these symptoms are similar to flu symptoms. Most people think that they just have flu or bad cold. However, when the blisters occur, that is when you definitely know you have shingles.
• When the rash starts, you will feel itchiness around these spots.
• You may start having digestive problems, too.
• Finally, you will see small blisters appearing on your skin.
If you do not treat this condition in time, you may start having problems. One of the problems is called chronic neuralgia. This pain can prolong and can last for weeks after the blisters are gone. This is what we call post-herpetic neuralgia.
If not treated in time, shingles can cause quite serious complications, like pneumonia, hearing problems, or eyesight loss.
How Contagious Is It?
Shingles can be contagious. If you get into contact with the fluid that the blisters are filled with, you can get infected. If you avoid close physical contacts with a person who has shingles, you will be quite safe. Shingles is contagious only during the blister phase. This means that it is not completely contagious.
There are ways to avoid shingles. If you know that someone is infected, you should be careful when having close contacts. If you have shingles, and the blister phase has started, you should cover these blisters as soon as you see them appearing on your skin. This way, you will protect other people. It is important that you start treating shingles in time. You must visit your doctor and start with your treatment. It is important not to scratch the blisters.