Shingles and What it Looks Like
A shingles rash can mimic spider bites, including bed bugs. This rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts 2 to 4 weeks. Its main symptom is pain, which can be pretty 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.
The Varicella Zoster virus causes shingles, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Only someone who has had chickenpox or gotten the 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 vaccine may contract it from someone who has shingles.
At least 1 million people a year in the United States get shingles. Shingles are far more common in people 50 and older than younger people. It is also more common in people with weakened immune systems because of a disease such as cancer or drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy.
What Causes Shingles
No one is sure exactly what makes the sleeping zoster virus 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 weak immune systems, something that this virus likes.
There is a vaccine for shingles that, in the lab, stopped shingles in about half of the 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 with 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 them. Thousands of visitors view this site daily, and many are happy to review your information and help you determine if it is Shingles, spider bites, or bed bugs.