Shingles is a disease that can be a lot more serious and painful that some people realize. Shingles comes from the same virus that causes chickenpox so if you have had chickenpox you could also have shingles. Chances are that you are one of the 9 out of 10 people in the united states that have had chickenpox which means you already have the virus for shingle in your body. The virus can remains inactive in the body for many years and sometimes your whole life. If the virus does become active it is usually later in life that this happens.
Herpes zoster is the more formal name for shingles. It is characterized by a painful rash that usually starts on one side of the body. After you have had chickenpox the virus remains inactive in your nervous system but can reactivate itself at any time. This rash that develops is usually later in life and can be extremely painful.
Estimates for shingles in the United Sates are around 1 million new cases each year. Almost half of these cases are found in adults age 60 or older. There is really no way to tell when shingles are going to develop. They can come at any time and without any warning. 1 out of 2 people living to age 85 will have shingles at some time in their life. Nearly all adults (90%) are at risk of developing shingles.
Helpful information about signs associated with shingles:
Pre rash, you will likely feel a burning, itching, or tingling sensation in the area where the sores/rash will form. A few days after these initial symptoms the rash will start which usually remains on one side of your body. The shingles rash usually lasts around 30 days. There is quite a bit of pain associated with the rash but it typically lessens as the rash heals. Some people experience post herpetic neuralgia , or PHN. This may lead to long term pain which can last for months or even years.
One complication that occurs with a hand full of people each year is shingles and pregnancy. This is an issue because there are increased stress levels associated with the pain and discomfort caused by shingles. In addition to this most doctors will not prescribe pain killers to help reduce the pain for fear of causing additional problems with the baby. There are a few home remedies that people have tried as well as one that seems to be getting a little more attention recently called VyGone.
VyGone is a device that helps to inhibit the virus without causing damage to the unborn baby. The device is noninvasive and should work quite well with shingles and pregnancy, http://www.shinglesandpregnancy.com.
Good luck to everyone out there with shingles and please consult with your health professional before acting on any information in this article.