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Signs herpes outbreak is coming

Herpes zoster is also called as Shingles is a type of skin rash infecting skin and nerves and is transmitted through virus called Varicella Zoster which belongs to herpes family. Shingles is part of the Herpes family of diseases – a sibling of chickenpox, it may also be known as Herpes Zoster.
Shingles is a viral infection recognized by the development of painful blisters on the skin – the virus which causes these blisters is the same one which causes chickenpox. Shingles is contagious when the sufferer experiences the open blisters which are a result of the disease – if a healthy person comes into direct contact with these open wounds then they are more likely to catch the disease, although those who have had a dose of chicken pox are at a high risk those who have never had chicken pox are also susceptible.
Patients are more likely to contract shingles when conditions are favourable – constant stress, compromised immune system etc will always make a person more vulnerable to infection as will certain medical conditions such as AIDS. At present there is no effective medication for the treatment of shingles, however antiviral medication can be prescribed which will aid recovery and help avoid complications.
Whether a patient is in the contagious stage of shingles or not it is important to seek medical advice in order to avoid the somewhat unpleasant complications that may arise and to receive prompt help with management of the outbreak. Those who have suffered chicken pox as children are at the highest risk developing shingles as the virus remains in the body for a lifetime even after being fully recovered from the dose of chicken pox.
Shingles is only contagious when the blisters are filled with clear fluid but are yet to crust over and dry up. As a bout of shingles appears it is much more painful than chickenpox, it will also be accompanied by symptoms which are more flu-like.
One complication of shingles may be chronic neuralgia – this occurs when shingles is in the advanced stage.
The same virus is responsible for causing chickenpox and it lives on the nervous system of the infected person. It usually starts as tiny blisters on the skin which gets erupted with fluid after 2 or 3 days. Treatment for shingles is available by taking antiviral medications or prescription drugs like acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir.

These may include extreme fatigue, prolonged fever with headache, nausea, itching and the development of small, painful blisters in an apparent belt or band on the torso – it is this distinctive shingles symptom which will assist the medical practitioner in making a diagnosis.
These blisters will take the path of nerves from cord resembling ray-like pattern on the area of the skin. In severe case of infection, your doctor may prescribe pain controlling non-steroidal medications.
Once the blisters have scabbed over the contagious phase of shingles can be said to be over. Untreated shingles may lead to more severe health problems such as pneumonia, loss of vision, encephalitis and, more rarely, death. Depending on the intensity of illness, the entire path of the nerves may get affected or only on the areas of painful blisters. It may be helpful to cover the blisters during the early stages to assist in containing the condition. It should be remembered that shingles is not distributed aerially and so the coughs and sneezes of a sufferer will not be contagious. The elderly and very young as well as pregnant women and those with a compromised immune system should avoid contact with a shingles sufferer during the contagious pre-scab stage of the disease. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances.
It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. Itchy blisters that appear after hiking, gardening, or spending time outdoors could be a reaction to poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
The first time someone is exposed to the virus, it causes the widespread, itchy sores known as chickenpox.

If you have shingles symptoms, see your health care provider even if you think you've never had chickenpox. Many childhood cases of chickenpox are mild enough to go unnoticed, but the virus can still linger and reactivate.
In most healthy people, the blisters leave no scars, and the pain and itching go away after a few weeks or months. People older than age 60 are 10 times more likely to get shingles than children under age 10. This pain, due to damaged nerves in and beneath the skin, is known as postherpetic neuralgia. Prompt treatment can make a case of shingles shorter and milder, while cutting in half the risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia.
If the pain is severe or the rash is concentrated near an eye or ear, consult your doctor right away.
To speed up the drying out of the blisters, try placing a cool, damp washcloth on the rash (but not when wearing calamine lotion or other creams.) If your doctor gives you the green light, stay active while recovering from shingles. In a large trial, this vaccine cut the risk of developing shingles in half and reduced the risk of postherpetic neuralgia by 67%. The vaccine won't treat a current outbreak of shingles, but it can prevent future attacks if you have already had shingles.

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