Shingles: Chicken Pox Returns
Posted January 29, 2009on:
Chicken pox is the virus that will later cause a person to suffer from shingles later in life. Most people think that once you have chicken pox the childhood disease goes away and you never have to worry about it again. Wrong! The virus stays in your system and never fully leaves your body. Certain catalysts like stress, cancer, chemotherapy or AIDS, can cause the virus to reactivate resulting in shingles. Happening to people over the age of 60 mostly, the virus has been known to affect more than 500,000 people annually and most of the times, the true origin, or cause of the outbreak is unknown.
The first symptom of shingles is unexplained pain or a sore sensation on one side of the body. The sensation is usually unexplained but the itching and constant ache is sometime unbearable. One or two days after the pain starts, red blisters, or puss filled bumps that are usually located near the pain and it will appear as a rash once the bumps are dried over with scabs. The scabs dry up and fall off after about twelve days and often there is a scar left. Most people who report the initial pain say that it comes in goes in spurts but the pain can be excruciating.
If you think you have shingles, do not scratch the scabs. This could cause a secondary bacterial infection. Most shingles requires some type of pain medication that helps the sufferer be alleviated from the pain and at the same time allows them to go about daily activities like their job or family life. There are medications that can be given to help reduce the time of the attack, but most home remedies include rubbing the infected area gently with warm soapy water and a clean cloth until the scabs dry up. This should be done several times a day to help the healing process begin.
Shingles is not contagious to someone who has had Chicken Pox, but if someone comes into contact with the puss filled sores and has not had the virus, they can contract Chicken pox. To prevent this, keep your rash area covered with a clean dressing. Remember, if you are a healthy person, shingles will not make you unhealthy, but just filled with pain. Some cases have been known to last for years. Pain management is about all you can do to get through the virus until it eventually goes away. If you are unhealthy or get sick a lot, check with your doctor because you may have an immune system deficiency that may cause the Shingles to appear more often.