Shingles is a contagious viral infection that causes symptoms and signs such as skin tingling, numbness, and burning, as well as a painful, blistering red rash. Learn more about the stages of shingles, how long shingles is contagious, and how shingles is transmitted. Consequently, these individuals may get shingles at a later time in life, as can anyone who has had chickenpox. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE VIEW. My doctor tells me I have shingles. The blisters are healing up, but the pain is still there.
People who have had chickenpox in the past are at risk for developing shingles because the virus remains inactive in certain nerve cells of the body and can become active later in life. You may be at risk for shingles if you:. Once you have had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in your nerve roots and remains inactive until, in some people, it flares up again. The pain may be: Sudden, shooting, sharp, burning, or stabbing Accompanied by a background sensation of burning, itching, or aching, or by hypersensitivity to touch Continuous or coming and going Long lasting — continuing for days, weeks, or longer. Exposure to shingles will not cause you to get shingles. Is Shingles Contagious? Someone with shingles could pass chickenpox to someone who hasn’t had it, but this requires contact with a broken blister because it can’t be passed through the air. Unlike chickenpox, shingles is not contagious, but lies dormant in your body after you have chickenpox.
Many cases of shingles have mild symptoms, but more severe cases can be very painful. Someone who is infected this way will develop chickenpox, though, not shingles. Ongoing pain (post-herpetic neuralgia): Damaged nerve fibers in the skin send confused messages to the brain, leading to pain that can go on for a long time after a shingles rash has disappeared. Note: Clicking these links will take you to a site outside of KidsHealth’s control. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer contagious. Fifty percent of all Americans will have had shingles by the time they are 80. Once you are infected with this kind of virus, it remains in your body for life.
Skin Conditions: Shingles
What are you looking for? Shingles (herpes zoster infection) is caused by re-activation of the chicken-pox virus. Due to their tiny size, small particle aerosols can travel long distances on air currents and remain suspended in the air for minutes to hours. Chickenpox and shingles have a typical appearance and are usually diagnosed by clinical presentation. Other patients can be cared for as long as lesions can be adequately covered. Herpes zoster is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. You cannot have shingles unless you already had chickenpox. Herpes zoster (shingles) is a painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Scarring and changes in skin color may persist long after shingles has resolved. If you have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, you can develop chickenpox after direct (skin to skin) contact with a shingles blister or by inhaling the varicella-zoster virus in the air.