The question of how long does shingles last is frequently asked by people who have never experienced the disease. Although it can be very painful, shingles is not life-threatening. While it may be accompanied by rashes, blisters filled with fluid will eventually heal and no longer cause infection. The blisters will be crusted over within a week or two, but pain may remain for weeks. If you’ve never suffered from shingles, here are some facts to keep in mind:
A person’s age and previous history of chickenpox are all factors that may affect how long shingles will last. Also, whether the person was previously exposed to the varicella-zoster virus will affect the length of the disease. As a child, the duration of shingles could be shorter for an adult compared to an infant. Although the infection is still contagious even after the child has grown up, it’s more common in adults. However, most adults report that the condition disappears within a few weeks after the initial outbreak.
While shingles symptoms are mild and often last for three to five weeks, some individuals may experience more severe or persistent pain. The pain associated with shingles is known as neuropathic pain. A patient suffering from shingles may also develop a scar where the rash was. In rare cases, shingles may affect the eye, causing inflammation or damage to the eye. Postherpetic neuralgia, which is an abnormal condition characterized by chronic pain, may occur in 50% of older adults.
Although shingles is not a curable disease, treatment for it may help relieve the pain and help prevent another rash. Antiviral medications can help relieve symptoms for about three days after shingles outbreaks. Acyclovir, a drug made by GlaxoSmithKline, is an antiviral agent that is usually prescribed for adults and children. In addition to taking antiviral medications, physicians may also prescribe topical creams, ointments, and petroleum jelly.
Both shingles and chickenpox are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This virus can remain dormant in your body even after chickenpox. This is why you may develop shingles decades after your first outbreak. The virus lives in your nerve cells, and you may have shingles several years later. If you’ve had chickenpox, there’s a good chance that you will develop this infection.
To reduce your risk of developing shingles, you should take a multivitamin. A multivitamin will include vitamin A, B-12, and C. Lysine is a powerful anti-infection amino acid, and a good source of zinc, selenium, and vitamin D. Ask your healthcare provider about the recommended doses and supplements. You should also be aware of the fact that a healthy lifestyle is important, as unhealthy habits weaken the immune system. Try to adopt relaxation techniques, join a smoking cessation support group, exercise, and eat well.
The rash of shingles is not contagious, but it is spreadable. It is important not to rub the affected area and avoid touching or scratching it. It is also important to avoid contact with people with weakened immune systems, newborns, and pregnant women. Those with shingles should avoid contact with these people until the rash has crusted over. And the worst part is that you’ll end up spreading it to other people.