Quick Facts about Herpes Zoster

Let’s get to them straight away!

  • Herpes zoster is another name for the popularly known viral infection called Shingles.
  • Herpes zoster can happen to any person who has had chickenpox earlier. Simply put, if you’ve had chickenpox once, you’re well-prepped for shingles!
  • More than 1 million people suffer from herpes zoster in the United States alone each year.
  • Almost one in every three people suffers from the herpes zoster virus once in his/her lifetime.
  • The risk of herpes zoster increases greatly with age, especially once you cross the 60 years mark. This is mainly owing to the decreasing immunity levels.
  • Herpes zoster isn’t just characterized by its rashes. You’re most likely to experience a tingling, itching, pain or burning sensation even before the rashes and blisters appear.
  • Some other commonly known symptoms that precede the rash formation are chills, fever, upset stomach and headache.
  • Herpes zoster features painful and blistering rashes which can last anywhere up to 30 days.
  • Some people may continue to experience complications even after the rash gets healed, such as change in skin color, permanent scarring or continuous nerve pain lasting for several months or perhaps even years. In rare cases, the patient may even witness vision or hearing impairment when shingles affects the eyes or ears respectively.
  • The pain associated with herpes zoster can be anything ranging from being plain itchy to a burning, stabbing, throbbing, shooting and/or even sharp sensations. It may just come and go every now and then, or stay constant throughout.
  • The long-term nerve pain that lasts even after the herpes zoster rash gets cured is a condition known as postherpetic neuralgia or PHN.
  • Herpes zoster is not contagious in nature. However, it can be passed to someone who hasn’t been vaccinated or never had chickenpox through direct contact with the fluid from the herpes zoster lesions.
  • You can make out that you’ve got herpes zoster if you develop very painful rashes on some body part, followed by formation of lesions that look a lot like chickenpox.
  • Herpes zoster can be treated effectively with anti-viral medications if administered during the first 72 hours of its outbreak.
  • The viral infection can be prevented by taking timely vaccinations, eating healthy food and practicing a healthy lifestyle.
  • You may suffer from herpes zoster more than once in your lifetime.
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