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Herpes and Shingles

Herpes and Shingles

Symptoms and Treatment for Herpes and Shingles

Many people associate herpes with sexual activity. However, herpes simplex and herpes zoster are two very different viruses. Herpes zoster is commonly known as shingles, and is unrelated to sexual activity.

Shingles is caused by a virus which lays dormant for several years in people who have had chickenpox. Many people want to know what the symptoms are and the forms of treatment for shingles.

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that also causes chickenpox. If you have had chickenpox, then you’re at risk for developing shingles.

Herpes symptoms include a rash which starts usually on one side of the body or face. Before the rash appears, there may be itching and tingling that can happen up to five days before the rash appears. If you think you have a rash developing that might lead to shingles, you may refer to herpes pictures to see if you have a similar rash. In addition to the rash, shingles sufferers often develop a fever, chills, headache, and stomach troubles.

If you have been exposed to someone with shingles, you may want to know more about shingles and the risk of contracting it. You can only contract shingles if you’ve had chickenpox. If you haven’t had chickenpox and you are exposed to shingles, then you may develop chickenpox. However, you won’t develop shingles. If you have had chickenpox, then you can contract shingles if exposed to someone during their blistering phase. The possibility of spreading the shingles virus is low as long as the infected person keeps the blisters covered and washes their hands often.

You can protect yourself against the shingles virus by getting vaccinated. Persons 60 years and older are able to get the vaccination since shingles usually appears in people 60 and over. If you do not get vaccinated and you do develop shingles, there are drugs that can be prescribed to minimize the severity and length of the virus. In order to be effective, these drugs must be started as early as possible. Therefore, if you think you may be developing shingles, you should visit your healthcare provider right away. You may also use pain medication to reduce the pain associated with shingles. Calamine lotion and colloidal oatmeal baths may soothe itching skin.

See your doctor right away if you notice possible symptoms of shingles. If you do develop shingles, remember to keep the blisters covered to prevent the spread of the virus. You may use pain medication and take other measures to manage pain and discomfort until the virus subsides.

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