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  • Later Years Support

Chickenpox and shingles

Have you ever had chickenpox? If you have, did you know it is the precursor, or that it starts you down the line to potentially getting Shingles later in life?

Herpes Zoster, or Shingles, is when the chickenpox virus does not completely disappear from the body, but stays dormant in the nerves close to the spine. As a person gets older (usually over 40), and often when stressed or when the body is already under fire from other disease processes, the virus can reappear in the form of shingles. People who are developing Shingles might experience a burning sensation or stabbing pain and tingling or itching on the skin. A rash or blisters usually appear after a few days. These are normally on one side of the body or face. because they track along the line of the nerves. Although it normally settles after about 14 days, pain and tingling associated with the rash might persist for months to years after the rash has cleared. It is a neuralgia pain and can be hard to treat. Shingles is an awful thing to suffer. (

According to Geriatrician, Associate Professor Michael Woodward, “70% of our 70-79 year olds don’t know they are at high risk of shingles, and over a third (36%) are not aware that shingles may be treated and prevented. Shingles can strike at any time and we don’t know how severe it will be when it hits. We do know that the chance of developing shingles, along with the risk of complications, increase with age, particularly over the age of 70.” as reported in HelloCare.

We wanted you to be aware of the possibility of Shingles and what to watch out for, so that you can act on it quickly, If treatment is started early, it might reduce the risk of having ongoing neuralgia pain.

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