NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version Healthcare Providers/Clinical Labs Last full review/revision May 2018 by Kenneth M. Kaye, MD People who are under stress Shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Share Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email Print When you have shingles, you're only contagious while you have blisters. To prevent spreading the virus while you have blisters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you: Job Searching Tips Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing The Latest in Shingles Save Patient information: A guide to shingles – UpToDate for patients Steering Group Sign up to the newsletter The article by Drs. Kanazi, Johnson and Dworkin notes the controlled-release opioid analgesics include controlled-release oxycodone (OxyContin), which, a study found, provides "significantly greater (PHN) pain relief, reduction of allodynia, decreased disability…than patients receiving placebo." 1,15 Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer Enhancing Diversity Image library A Hepatitis D Patient Care & Health Info  Diphtheria   Measles   Rubella  Keep Indoor Air Healthy Sitio para niños Oral antibiotics for secondary infection Aging & Immunity Professional Education Patient Instructions Home New York State News Cool the rash with ice packs, cool wet cloths, or cool baths.   Preparing For Your Visit Home Pregnant Women “Neuropathic pain is burning,” says Joseph Safdieh, MD, associate professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine and medical director of the neurology clinic at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Case Management The Mayo Clinic Diet Book Forms for Patients & Providers Appointments International resources Back to News & Media Advertise with AARP Pain relievers may also help with the pain. A cool washcloth, calamine lotion, and oatmeal baths may help relieve some of the itching. Disrupt Aging News & Media Home Note: All information on TeensHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. Tests are rarely needed, but may include taking a skin sample to see if the skin is infected with the virus. Merck & Co., Inc. Lowell General Hospital PFAC Home Ophthalmic shingles Neurosurgery Funny One-Liners Professional Education Dermatology  VACCINE BASICS  Agency Contacts Go Red for Women Mental Health Disorders Even if you’ve heard of shingles and know that it’s a painful rash, you still might have a hard time knowing for sure if it is the cause of your symptoms. G.K. Dwarakanath, MD, with a patient in the Pain Management Center at Lowell General Hospital What causes herpes zoster? Research Funded by NINDS Popular topics Is the shingles vaccine right for me? Free T3 and Total T3 Menu See your doctor right away if you notice blisters on your face—this is an urgent problem. Blisters near or in the eye can cause lasting eye damage or blindness. Hearing loss, a brief paralysis of the face, or, very rarely, swelling of the brain (encephalitis) can also occur. Content Review Loan Repayment Programs Volunteer opportunities Quality & Accreditations For most healthy people, the lesions of shingles heal and pain diminishes within three to five weeks. However, some shingles sufferers—including as many as 50 percent of the sufferers over age 50, according to some estimates—will have debilitating pain that persists for more than one month (sometimes for many months) after lesions have healed. This pain, called post-herpetic neuralgia, or PHN, is from nerve cell damage caused by the viral infection. Shingles may also slightly increase the risk for a heart attack, stroke and mini-strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). The prognosis for shingles is problematic if the virus spreads to the brain or eyes. User Top Links Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)Heart Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Leptospirosis Notice to Medicaid Recipients Additionally, you can apply calamine lotion after baths and showers to soothe irritated skin and help dry out blisters. Staying Healthy Other measures may include: Leptin Your Gift at Work Residencies Most children now are vaccinated against chickenpox. In theory, this will translate into fewer Americans who suffer from shingles in the future. However, there are variables, such as mild cases of chickenpox with symptoms that aren't even noted, and the fact that we've now learned that the immunity offered from vaccines wanes over time. So if today's children don't receive the boosters, they could be at risk for chickenpox, and then shingles, in the future. Videos and Tools Admission Process Merck Manual Our Leadership There's a New Shingles Vaccine — Is It for You? Resources Dermatology Glossary antibiotics for shingles | shingles images antibiotics for shingles | shingles in adults antibiotics for shingles | shingles in babies
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