A shingles rash can mimic spider bites including bed bugs. This rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts from 2 to 4 weeks. Its main symptom is pain, which can be quite severe. Other symptoms of shingles can include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach. Very rarely, a shingles infection can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death.
What is shingles?
About 2 out of every 10 people experience severe pain that may last even after the rash clears up and is referred to as post-herpetic neuralgia.
Shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Only someone who has had a case of chickenpox or gotten chickenpox vaccine, can get shingles. The virus stays in your body. It can reappear many years later to cause a case of shingles.
You can’t catch shingles from other people that have shingles. However, in rare cases, an individual who has never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, may contract it from someone who has shingles.
Shingles is far more common in people 50 and older than in younger people. It is also more common in people whose immune systems are weakened because of a disease such as cancer, or drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy. At least 1 million people a year in the United States get shingles.
Causes or Shingles
No one is sure exactly what makes the sleeping zoster virus become active and multiply, but illness, trauma and stress are known to trigger shingles. People that have conditions such as AIDS, HIV, Radiation Therapy, Surgery and Chemotherapy are known to have week immune systems, something that this virus likes.
There is a vaccine for shingles which in the lab, stopped shingles in about half of people older than 60 years of age; this shingles vaccine may also reduce the pain associated that comes with this virus.
The vaccine may not be for everyone such as those that have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin. Your doctor will explain more about this and ask all the necessary questions before giving you such a cure.
If you have, or think you have, shingles, please try to take a picture and post a comment so that others may see. Thousands of visitors view this site daily and many are more than happy to review your information and help you determine if it is Shingles, spider bites or bed bugs.