Shingles Symptoms That You Have to Know
Shingles symptoms are many elements that affect different parts of the body and the location of the rash and pain may depend on the nerves that are affected by the virus. Chicken pox virus is also the cause of shingles; as you eventually get well from chicken pox, the virus settles on a nerve where it lies dormant for years. When the virus is awakened by stress, severe immune system deficiency and other factors, shingles symptoms appear. The development of shingles is uncommon in children but those who do get shingles at a very young age tend to develop milder symptoms and scarring is also uncommon. Children often have better wound healing and have highly elastic skin that will resist scar formation.
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Most Common Shingles Symptoms
- Pain and sensitivity – the initial shingles symptom is unusual feeling of sensitivity to pain on a particular side of the body. It could be a heightened feeling of pain, constant aching, burning sensation, itching, tingling and sometimes sharp shooting pain described as a thunderbolt. The area affected is often only a section of the body like any quadrants of the head, the left or the right shoulder, the right or the left side of the abdomen and soon.
- Flu-like symptoms – as heightened sensitivity is felt, there may also be fever, chills, headaches and unusual itching on the affected area. It’s important to seek medical help if you feel these symptoms to determine the need for shingles treatment.
- Rashes – after two to three days, there is significant pain on the affected area with localized rashes. These rashes are described as raised, red, blisters which become filled with pus. These are very painful and very sensitive; there are people on the other hand that do not develop rashes but only pain on the area. Rashes often break and ooze, these become scabs after 10 to 12 days, this is the most significant of all shingles symptoms.
- Scabs formation – in adults, there is scarring after scabs fall off. In children who develop shingles, there could hardly be any scar formation only pain and sensitivity on the affected area. Children may also be unusually tired, may refuse to eat and may become irritable due to moderate to high fevers and chills.
- PHN – rashes disappear completely or leave rashes after three to four weeks. Some people develop a condition known as post herpetic neuralgia or PHN. This is a condition wherein there is localized pain and sensitivity on the area affected long after rashes are gone. It is estimated that as many as 15% of adults who develop shingles suffer from PHN and most of these happen in adults who are 50 years old and above.
Seeking help as soon as possible is very important to get an effective treatment for shingles. Physicians recommend taking antiviral medications 72 hours before rashes appear; these guarantees faster recovery from the disease, reduced duration for the illness and milder shingles symptoms. In some cases, treatment may not be necessary; but strengthening the immune system is still the best treatment option for all patients with shingles.