Shingles Skin Rash
The shingles skin rash is a very painful symptom of the disease. It begins as small red bumps that quickly form blisters within a few days. These blisters usually take three to five days to form completely. They are found on one side of the body, usually in the back or trunk area. Shingles comes from the varicella zoster virus, more commonly known as chicken pox virus. After a person has the chicken pox, the virus hides in nerve cells. This causes the shingles to form over nerve sites once it's reactivated.
A shingles skin rash produces a varied degree of pain. Some people may feel a slight discomfort in the affected area, while others may experience excruciating pain. The first sign of shingles is called the prodomal stage. It may or may not produce a rash. Pain is more commonly felt in this stage. The second phase is called the eruptive stage. This is the stage when the bumps and blisters first appear. Once the rash is fully completed, the blisters start to leak a pus. The blister forms a crust that will eventually fall off.
Shingles is reactivated when a person has a weakened immune system. Cancer, pregnancy and the aging process can also trigger this disease. People over 50 years of age are more susceptible to the shingles than younger people. This is due to the changes in the body caused by the aging process. A person who has never been sick may experience problems as they age.
A person cannot pass the shingles on to someone else. They can, however, give someone the chicken pox. This is possible only if the person has never had the chicken pox or vaccine.
The best way to care for the shingles rash is to keep it dry and wear loose clothing. Do not scratch or irritate the blisters. It may lead to more complications, including infection. Within two to three weeks, the rash will heal. Scarring of the skin may or may not be apparent. Once it runs its course, the affected person will not get the disease again.