“Why is shingles painful?” this may be asked by people suffering from shingles. Shingles is an extremely painful viral infection caused by the same disease responsible for chickenpox, Varicella-zoster Virus. However, it is also characterized by a burning, blistery rash that can occur anywhere on the body but most often appears in a narrow, belt-shaped or band-like fashion on the torso. The rash tends to be red and tender and is marked with small, bullous blisters which are quite painful.
When asking “Why is shingles painful?” a few factors need to be considered; first, the actual pain symptoms of shingles are almost identical to those of a common rash. Second, the virus itself remains in the nerve fibers instead of crossing the skin surface as is the case with chicken pox or measles.
To clarify these differences, we will need to re-state some terms. Shingles is also known as herpes zoster, since it is caused by Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) which is also responsible for chickenpox. Chickenpox usually affects younger children and adults, while shingles rash blisters usually affect older people and/or adults. In addition, shingles is not generally contagious. While the chicken pox virus can be spread by direct contact with the infected areas of the skin, shingles cannot – although there have been cases where infected individuals have come into close physical contact with other people who have shingles.
So, what exactly are the symptoms of shingles? On the outside, the rash that forms is fairly small, red, and raised. There may be pain and burning sensations, although in most cases this pain fades after a day or so. The rash can last for several weeks, or it can start and fade quickly.
Why is shingles painful? While most pain symptoms clear up on their own within a day or two, a painful shingles rash lasts for several days. It is important to use a fast acting cream for shingles to help reduce the pain. This period of pain is the biggest cause for concern among shingles patients. While most pain from shingles will subside within a few days of exposure to the blisters, some people suffer extreme pain during the time that the rash remains on their body.
During the time that the rash is present, people suffering from shingles experience varying degrees of discomfort. Some report a tingling sensation, while others feel a burning or itching sensation. Some people also experience pain when they move their joints or rub their skin. As the condition worsens, people can become more uncomfortable, and in some cases, their pain becomes unbearable. When a rash is present, wearing simple cloths like clothing, creates a great deal of friction on the skin, which increases the intensity of the pain.
People who have been diagnosed with shingles often ask how is shingles painful. It’s important to understand that not all pain is created equal. Most pain is described as being dull and aching, but it’s important to remember that a rash typically has the ability to itch and burn, and the pain will likely increase over time. While some people find relief from the itching and burning of a rash, other people are in so much pain that they simply cannot stand the pain.
If you think that you may have shingles, you should seek treatment immediately. The quicker a person gets treatment, the less the chance of complications occurring. Why is shingles painful? Because if the condition is not treated quickly and aggressively, it can leave permanent scars, which will be nearly impossible to get rid of without proper medical treatment. If you think you may have shingles, see your doctor immediately so that he or she can accurately diagnose and treat the condition.