Shingles, also called Herpes Zoster, is apainful, blistering rash caused by one of the Herpes viruses, but notthe one everyone's afraid of. And while it's contagious, you'll be very surprised to find out whatyou can ch from it. Stay tuned and I'll tell you. Hello, I'm Neal Schultz pause
And welcome to DermTV. Shingles used to be an â€œolderâ€� personsdisease, but we see it more and moreyoung adults, starting eventhe late 20's. It's causedby the chickenpox virus whose medical name is the VaricellaZosterVirus. And while it's one of the 4 virusestheHerpes family of viruses, it has nothing to do with the Herpes Simplexvirus, which is the one that causes both oral andeaded genital Herpes.
In medicine, Shingles is considered to beone of the great imposters because the initial symptom before the rashcomes out is pain for a few days. That pain can be severe and can even imitate the pain of a heart attack,kidney stones and even appendicitis. It's usually a shootingor radiating painthe area where the rash comes out. OK. But you don't â€œchâ€� shingles fromanother person. Shingles is a reactivation of your own dormantChicken pox virus
that has been harmlessly sleepingone ofyour nerves for decades, ever since you had chicken pox as a kid. Then, for reasons we don't understand, thevirus wakes up, and travels down the nerve to the skin whereit causes clusters of blistersmost of the area ofthe skin that that particular nerve goes to. Since when nerves come out of the spine they either turn left or right, the rash isusually only on one side
of your body, often wrapping around you fromyour back to your side, and then to your front. Without treatment, the rash lasts two to threeweeks, but is shorter with treatment. Shingles is important for many reasons. First, if diagnosed and treated within thefirst three days, oral mediion can shorten the painful rash and help prevent post heric neuralgia,
which is pain that can be severe and lingerfor months after the rash clears up. Second, as a greatimposter, it's important to think of it so those seriousmedical problems it imitates are not incorrectly diagnosed. And last, because it's caused by the ChickenPox virus, you are contagious to others and can givethem chicken pox if they have never had either chickenpox orthe vaccine. But the good news is you can't give someoneshingles.