Shingles is a painful, blistering skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This virus is the same one that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in your nerve roots. Years later, the virus can reactivate as shingles.
Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can develop shingles. But, the risk increases as you get older. Shingles usually occurs in people over 50 years of age.
Shingles isn’t just a skin rash. It’s caused by a virus and can lead to some serious health complications. These include:
Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
These complications are rare, but they can be serious and even life-threatening.
If you have shingles, it’s important to see a doctor right away. There is a medication called antiviral that can help shorten the duration of the virus and make the rash less painful.
If you develop any of the complications mentioned above, you will likely need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous antiviral medications and other treatments.
Shingles is a serious virus with the potential for serious complications. If you develop the rash, see a doctor right away and get treated.
A new study has found that people who have had shingles are at increased risk for stroke and heart attack.
The study, which was published in the journal Stroke, looked at data from more than 143,000 adults in the United Kingdom. The participants were followed for an average of eight years.
The study found that people who had shingles were more than twice as likely to have a stroke, and were also at increased risk for heart attack.
The risk was highest in the first year after the onset of shingles, but remained elevated for at least four years.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus can remain dormant in the body for many years, and can be reactivated by stress, illness, or aging.
The findings of this study underscore the importance of prompt treatment of shingles. Early treatment with antiviral medications can help to reduce the risk of complications such as stroke and heart attack.