Still trying to guess???
(photographed with hardpod- my iphone- on the right side of my body under my arm(pit))
What the ______.... UGHHHHH...
She gave me shingles. Shingles? For rill. What ARE shingles, you ask?? Believe me, you aren't the only one with no clue..my response to the doctor after he said I had shingles was..."don't 80 year olds get this?"... "No, that is just a myth- for the most part," he said. For a textbook definition for ease of understanding- here you go.
After you've had chickenpox, the virus lives in your nervous system, "sleeping" in the nerve roots. In some people, it remains asleep (dormant) forever. In others, a weakened immune system may cause the virus to "wake up," reproduce, and travel along nerve fiber to the skin's surface (OF COURSE THIS HAD TO HAPPEN-ADD THIS TO THE REST OF WHAT'S BEEN ON MY PLATE). The result: Shingles. When the virus becomes active again, it can only cause shingles, not chickenpox.
Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles, although it occurs most commonly in people over the age of 60. (SEE- I AM GETTING OLDER!!) Weakened immune systems (DOES A NEW BABY FIT THIS MOLD?), emotional stress (DOES A NEW BABY AND SCHOOL FIT THIS MOLD?), and cancer (UH, LET'S JUST HOPE THIS ISN'T ALSO IN THE EQUATION) can all cause the virus to reactivate.
The cluster of blisters that form with shingles fill with fluid, pop, then start to ooze (OMGosh- I THINK I JUST IRPED IN MY MOUTH). Eventually the affected areas crust over and heal like the rash shown here. The whole process may take three to four weeks (NO FREAKING WAY! THAT IS JUST RIDICULOUS) from start to finish. Once all of the blisters are crusted over, the virus can no longer be spread.
Yes, shingles is contagious. The virus can spread to anyone who hasn't had chickenpox (OH CRAP- JOVIE IS WAY TO LITTLE TO BE CATCHING THIS), through direct contact with the open sores of an infected person, as long as that person has new blisters forming and old blisters healing. Instead of developing shingles, the newly infected person develops chickenpox. Once they've had chickenpox, they can't catch it again, though they do now have the potential to develop shingles later in life.
Generally, shingles heals well, resulting in few problems. A more worrisome complication is when shingles affects the forehead and nose, which may spread to the eye and lead to loss of vision. (OK REALLY, FOR RILL?? THIS IS NOW JUST GETTING PLAIN RIDICULOUS)
There is no cure for shingles (OH...GREAT. SO I'M GONNA WALK AROUND SCRATCHING MYSELF FOR A MONTH AND BE IN TOTAL PAIN? AWESOME.), but treatment may help you get well sooner and prevent problems.