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Posts Tagged ‘shingles

A person very close to me was recently diagnosed with shingles. She began to have intense pain in her left breast, a pain that was unbearable. Many times she would have to leave work early because the pain became to extreme. The pain was a mystery until one day she noticed a small pimple on her back. It became apparent that every time the pain attack came, a small acne type of bump appeared on her back, neck, or head. Being a person who thought they could deal with pain, it took her several weeks to go to the doctor. Something anyone should have done as soon as something this severe began happening to their body.


Seeing a physician’s assistant, my friend was diagnosed with shingles. She was given a medication that is usually associated to treat herpes. This and a pain medication helped her through the flair ups, but the bumps on her back still only came in a single entity and not in clusters as most shingles out breaks are. That and she was only 43 and most shingle episodes happen when a person is over sixty. The attacks came and went and still she would have attacks so bad that she could not function with daily activities. Not only quality of life but the embarrassment of not being able to deal with work and family began to toll on her.


One of the shingles precursors is stress. This lady just was promoted in a high stress job that put her on edge not only during work but after work also. The more stressful episodes that happened at work caused more pain to happen and the frequency of outbreaks increased. After a terrible bout she went back to the doctor. This time a real doctor, not a PA, reviewed her records and shook his head. He realized that she was misdiagnosed and was given a medication that not only relieved the pain, but relieved the anxiety that was associated with these types of outbreaks.


Since then my friend has been fine. The big mistake that the PA made is that the shingle sores are in a pattern along one strand of nerves. This cause pain in the tissue that is associated with that nerve cluster. If you have been diagnosed with shingles and you only have one bump that is present when pain is found, get a second opinion. My friend went through nights without sleep and missing days of work because of the misdiagnosis. Any skin problem or pain associated with a skin problem can be serious, so seek medical attention immediately.


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.