- What causes a genital rash?
- Shingles may be behind vulvar pain
- Herpes and Shingles
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster) in Children
- What is shingles in children?
- What causes shingles in a child?
- Which children are at risk for shingles?
- What are the symptoms of shingles in a child?
- How is shingles diagnosed in a child?
- How is shingles treated in a child?
- What are possible complications of shingles in a child?
- How can I help prevent shingles in my child?
- When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
- Key points about shingles in children
- Next steps
- Herpes Zoster (Shingles) Symptoms & Causes
- Is it shingles? Pictures and symptoms
- Shingles – symptoms, treatment, vaccination
- Prevention / vaccination
- Further information
- Varicella-Zoster Virus (Chickenpox and Shingles)
- What is varicella-zoster?
- What illnesses does varicella-zoster cause?
- Can you get chickenpox if you’ve been vaccinated?
- Are chickenpox and shingles serious illnesses?
- What should I do about an exposure to varicella?
- I’m pregnant and have recently been exposed to someone with chickenpox. How will this exposure affect me or my pregnancy?
- I’m pregnant and have had a blood test for chickenpox. What do the results of this test show?
- Is there a way I can keep from being infected with chickenpox?
- Shingles Vaccination, what you should know:
- Department of Health
- Shingles (herpes zoster)
- Who gets shingles?
- How is shingles spread?
- How soon do symptoms appear?
- What are the complications associated with shingles?
- Is there a treatment for shingles?
- Does past infection make a person immune?
- Is there a vaccine for shingles?
- What can be done to prevent the spread of shingles?
What causes a genital rash?
There are many different treatments for a genital rash, each influenced by its cause. There are some common threads through all of these treatments.
Share on PinterestTreatments for genital rashes depend on the cause of the rash, but include topical cream and medicated ointments.
For instance, while waiting to be diagnosed by a doctor, an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or spray may help with an itchy rash on the penis or vagina. Doctors commonly prescribe creams such as these to treat symptoms while they are investigating an exact cause. Hydrocortisone cream may also be purchase online.
Body lice and pubic lice are usually removed with a medicated wash. This is left on the genitals for a long time to kill the infestation, and then rinsed away. Scabies is usually treated with medicated ointments and creams.
Treating yeast infections is done with antifungal medications, which come as creams and powders with pills rarely necessary for rashes. Yeast infections are also treated using home remedies, such as yogurt or oregano oil. According to one study, oregano oil shows promise in getting rid of the fungus that causes yeast infection. Oregano oil can be purchased online.
Cases of genital warts are either treated with prescription medications or by removing them with liquid nitrogen. The best option is for a doctor to remove them.
Bacterial infections like syphilis are treated with antibiotics.
There is no known cure for genital herpes, but the symptoms are often controlled with medications.
Similarly, there are no known cures for autoimmune disorders like psoriasis, but some medications help control the symptoms caused by the disorder.
If the genital rash is due to an allergy, removing the allergen will usually allow it to clear up. The symptoms can be treated in the meantime, and a doctor can run allergy tests if the exact allergen is unknown.
Preventing a genital rash
Practicing safe sex will help avoid rashes caused by STIs. Eating a balanced diet and regularly exercising will keep the immune system strong and help to fight off germs. Allergic reactions can be prevented by avoiding the things that trigger the allergies.
For many causes of a genital rash, the symptoms can be removed by treating the underlying cause. Even conditions that have no known cure can be successfully controlled with medications.
By working directly with a doctor to diagnose and treat the rash, the outlook for most cases is good.
Shingles may be behind vulvar pain
Clinicians should be aware of genital shingles as a potential, underlying cause of chronic vulvar pain, say researchers. They highlight two such cases in the latest issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander (Massachusetts General Hospital, USA) and colleagues describe the cases of two women who endured years of chronic pain before a correct diagnosis of vulvar shingles was made.
Shingles, which is caused by the varicella zoster virus, can have severe effects on the skin and nervous system, and may become a debilitating condition if left untreated, note the researchers.
In one of their case reports, Oaklander et al describe a 35-year-old woman whose chronic vulvar pain was caused by shingles, who was misdiagnosed and treated inappropriately for 6 years.
While vulvar shingles affects an estimated 1.5 million American women, it is often missed during gynecological examinations, according to the researchers.
“Although less than 10 percent of cases affect the genitals, shingles is such a common disease that all clinicians who perform routine gynecologic examinations should expect to encounter and treat it,” conclude the researchers.
This is particularly important, as, once diagnosed, shingles is highly treatable with antiviral medication and tricyclic antidepressants, they add.
Herpes and Shingles
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Viral Skin Diseases
Shingles: This painful viral infection is caused by herpes zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox. After infection with chickenpox, the virus “hides” in the nervous system in a latent or dormant state. Exposure to chickenpox or other stressors may cause a reactivation of the virus, resulting in a shingles outbreak. People over the age of 50 are most likely to suffer from shingles.
Shingles causes uncomfortable and painful symptoms due to inflammation of the sensory nerves, the nerves responsible for the perception of pain, touch, and temperature. The characteristic shingles rash appears as a band-like strip of red, oozing blisters. The rash typically wraps in a strip around the body and usually occurs on one side of the body. Shingles is contagious if an infected person has close contact with others who have not yet had chickenpox. Nerve pain due to shingles can sometimes persist for weeks to years after the rash heals. This painful, post viral condition is known as post-herpetic neuralgia.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) in Children
What is shingles in children?
Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful skin rash. It’s caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
What causes shingles in a child?
After a person has chickenpox, the virus stays in the body’s nerve cells but is inactive. Years later, the varicella-zoster virus can become active again. The virus can then cause a red rash or small blisters, usually on one side of the body. The rash or blisters spread along a nerve pathway where the virus was living.
Which children are at risk for shingles?
Shingles in children is not common. A child is more at risk for shingles if either of these are true:
He or she had chickenpox before age 1.
The child’s mother had chickenpox very late in pregnancy.
Children who get the chickenpox vaccine still have a small risk for shingles. But it may be a lower risk than after a chickenpox infection. And the symptoms may be less severe. The risk of shingles increases with age. A child with a weak immune system may have the same, or more severe, symptoms as an adult.
What are the symptoms of shingles in a child?
The symptoms start with pain, burning, tingling, or itching on one part of the face or body. The rash can appear up to 5 days after these symptoms.
The shingles rash most often occurs on the torso and buttocks. It may also appear on the arms, legs, or face. The rash starts as small, red spots that turn into blisters. The blisters turn yellow and dry. The rash is usually only on one side or part of the body. It goes away in 2 to 4 weeks.
Your child may also have symptoms such as:
Fever and chills
The symptoms of shingles can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees a provider for a diagnosis.
How is shingles diagnosed in a child?
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. Your child will have a physical exam. Your child may also have tests, such as:
Skin scrapings. The blisters are gently scraped to remove tiny samples. The samples are examined to look for the virus.
Blood tests. These are to check for signs of virus in the blood.
How is shingles treated in a child?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment right away with antiviral medicine may help lessen how long the symptoms last and how serious they are. These antiviral medicines work better the sooner they are started. Your child may be given acyclovir, famcyclovir, or valacyclovir. Talk with your child’s healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
Ask the healthcare provider about over-the-counter pain medicine. You may be able to give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and discomfort. Don’t give ibuprofen to a child younger than 6 months old, unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Don’t give aspirin to children. Aspirin can cause a serious health condition called Reye syndrome.
If your child’s pain is severe, the healthcare provider may prescribe stronger pain medicine.
What are possible complications of shingles in a child?
After the shingles rash is gone, the pain may continue for a long time. This is a complication called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Talk with the healthcare provider if your child’s pain stays after the rash goes away.
How can I help prevent shingles in my child?
There is a shingles vaccine for older adults, but not for children. This is because shingles is more severe in older adults. But a child who has had the chickenpox vaccine may have milder symptoms of shingles. If your child has not had chickenpox, talk with the healthcare provider about the chickenpox vaccine.
When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
Call the healthcare provider if your child has:
Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse
Key points about shingles in children
Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful skin rash. It’s caused by the virus that causes chickenpox.
Shingles in children is not common.
The symptoms start with pain, burning, tingling, or itching on one part of the face or body. The virus can then cause a red rash or small blisters, usually on one side of the body.
Treatment right away with antiviral medicine may help lessen how long the symptoms last and how serious they are.
If your child’s pain is severe, the healthcare provider may prescribe strong pain medicine.
There is a shingles vaccine for older adults, but not for children. But a child who has had the chickenpox vaccine may have milder symptoms of shingles.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.
Herpes Zoster (Shingles) Symptoms & Causes
What is herpes zoster?
Herpes zoster, or shingles, is a common viral infection of the nerves, which results in a painful rash of small blisters on a strip of skin anywhere on the body. Even after the rash is gone, the pain may continue for months.
What causes herpes zoster?
Herpes zoster is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. After a person has had chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in certain nerves for many years.
Is herpes zoster common?
Herpes zoster is more common in people with a depressed immune system and those over the age of 50. It’s quite rare in children and the symptoms are mild compared to what an adult may experience. Children most at risk for herpes zoster are those who had chicken pox during the first year of life or whose mothers had chicken pox very late during pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of herpes zoster?
The rash associated with herpes zoster most often occurs on the trunk and buttocks. It may also appear on the arms, legs or face. While symptoms may vary child to child, the most common include:
- skin hypersensitivity in the area where the herpes zoster is to appear
- mild rash, which appears after five days and first looks like small, red spots that turn into blisters
- blisters, which turn yellow and dry, often leaving small, pitted scars
- rash goes away in one to two weeks
- rash is usually localized to one side of the body
Is it shingles? Pictures and symptoms
Share on PinterestShingles blisters should be kept covered until they scab over.
Currently, there is no cure for shingles. Treatment is available to decrease the severity of the infection and reduce symptoms.
For example, antiviral medications may be recommended. Antiviral medication for shingles does not kill the virus. Instead, it stops it from multiplying, which may shorten the length of the illness.
Medications to treat pain may also be prescribed. Various medications are available, including creams, which are applied to the skin, and oral medications.
Home treatment may include applying cool compresses to the skin to ease the pain.
It’s also important to prevent the virus from spreading. Although shingles itself cannot be transmitted, the virus can be passed on, possibly causing chickenpox.
Someone with shingles is not contagious once the blisters have scabbed over and are no longer weeping. Before they have scabbed over, it is important to keep them covered around other people.
One way to prevent shingles is to get vaccinated. The chickenpox vaccine is often given as a routine childhood vaccine. Adults who have not had chickenpox can also get the vaccine.
For those who have already had chickenpox, there is also a shingles vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration approved the shingles vaccine for adults over the age of 50. The CDC recommend adults over the age of 60 who have a history of chickenpox get the vaccine. There is no maximum age for getting the vaccine.
It’s important to understand that both vaccines do not guarantee an individual will not be infected with the virus. They do substantially decrease a person’s chances of developing the diseases, however.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the shingles vaccine provides protection from the virus for about 5 years. After that, the effectiveness of the vaccine decreases. Currently, the vaccine is only given once.
Shingles can affect someone more than once. People who have already had shingles can also get vaccinated to prevent getting the infection again.
The shingles vaccine is safe for most people. As always, someone considering the vaccine should discuss it with their doctor. Side effects from the vaccine are usually mild and include pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site.
Shingles – symptoms, treatment, vaccination
The virus that causes shingles is present in the fluid within the blisters of people suffering from shingles. Transmission of this virus mainly occurs through direct or indirect contact with the fluid in the blisters. Rarely, the virus can be transmitted in droplets of saliva from the nose and mouth. A person with shingles is contagious from when the blisters first develop until after all of the blisters have crusted over. If the virus is transmitted from a person who has shingles to a person who has not had chickenpox, that person will develop chickenpox, not shingles.
The most common complication of shingles is a condition called post-herpetic neuralgia. Symptoms include persistent pain at the site of the shingles rash that lasts for more than one month. Anti-seizure and anti-depressant medications are sometimes used to treat the pain caused by post-herpetic neuralgia. Other less common complications of shingles include:
- Bacterial skin infections
- Harm to anunborn foetus if the mother develops shingles in the early months of pregnancy
- Damage to the eye if shingles affecting the eye is left untreated. In rare cases, blindness can occur
- Ramsay Hunt’s syndrome caused by facial shingles. This condition can cause ear pain, facial paralysis, and loss of taste and hearing.
Most complications of shingles are very rare, but it is still important to consult a doctor as soon as shingles is suspected so that an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment can be given. This is especially important for those people with a weakened immune system.
Prevention / vaccination
Although shingles is less contagious than chickenpox, you should still take the following steps to prevent spreading the virus:
- Keep the rash covered
- Avoid scratching or touching the rash
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often
- Avoid contact with people at risk, including women who are pregnant, premature or low birth-weight babies, and people with weakened immune system.
A shingles vaccine is available in New Zealand for immunisation of people aged 50 years and older and free from GPs for adults at age 65 years. The vaccine reduces the risk of shingles developing and may help to reduce the severity and duration of shingles if it does occur.
If you believe you may have shingles or you want to know if the shingles vaccine is suitable for you, contact your GP or practice nurse, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Immunisation Advisory Centre (2018). Herpes zoster (shingles) Fact Sheet (PDF). Auckland: University of Auckland. http://www.immune.org.nz/sites/default/files/resources/Written%20Resources/DiseaseHerpesZosterImac20180426V02Final.pdf
Mayo Clinic (2018). Shingles (Web Page). Rochester, NY: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/symptoms-causes/syc-20353054
Ministry of Health (2018). Shingles (Web Page). Wellington: New Zealand Ministry of Health. http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/shingles
Oakley, A. (2015). Herpes zoster (Web Page). Hamilton: DermNet New Zealand. https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/herpes-zoster/ [Accessed: 18/06/19
Reid, J.S., Ah Wong B (2014). Herpes zoster (shingles) at a large New Zealand general practice: incidence over 5 years. N Z Med J. 2014;127(1407):56-60.
O’Toole, M.T. (Ed.) (2017). Herpes zoster. Mosby’s Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions (10th ed.). St Louis, MI: Elsevier.
Last Reviewed – June 2019
Varicella-Zoster Virus (Chickenpox and Shingles)
What is varicella-zoster?
Varicella-zoster is a herpes virus that causes chickenpox, a common childhood illness. It is highly contagious. If an adult develops chickenpox, the illness may be more severe. After a person has had chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus can remain inactive in the body for many years. Herpes zoster (shingles) occurs when the virus becomes active again.
What illnesses does varicella-zoster cause?
Chickenpox first occurs as a blister-like skin rash and fever. It takes from 10-21 days after exposure for someone to develop chickenpox. The sores commonly occur in batches with different stages (bumps, blisters, and sores) present at the same time. The blisters usually scab over in 5 days. A person with chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs. Children with weakened immune systems may have blisters occurring for a prolonged time period. Adults can develop severe pneumonia and other serious complications.
Shingles occurs when the virus, which has been inactive for some time, becomes active again. Severe pain and numbness along nerve pathways, commonly on the trunk or on the face, are present. Clusters of blisters appear 1 to 5 days later. The blisters are usually on one side of the body and closer together than in chickenpox. Shingles does not spread as shingles from one person to another. If people who have never had chickenpox come in contact with the fluid from shingles blisters, they can develop chickenpox.
Can you get chickenpox if you’ve been vaccinated?
Yes. About 15% – 20% of people who have received one dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine do still get chickenpox if they are exposed, but their disease is usually mild. Vaccinated persons who get chickenpox generally have fewer than 50 spots or bumps, which may resemble bug bites more than typical, fluid-filled chickenpox blisters. In 2006, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend routine two-dose varicella vaccination for children. In one study, children who received two doses of varicella vaccine were three times less likely to get chickenpox than individuals who have had only one dose.
Are chickenpox and shingles serious illnesses?
The symptoms may be more severe in newborns, persons with weakened immune systems, and adults. Serious problems can occur and may include pneumonia (bacterial and viral), brain infection (encephalitis), and kidney problems. Many people are not aware that before a vaccine was available, approximately 10,600 persons were hospitalized, and 100 to 150 died, as a result of chickenpox in the U.S. every year.
What should I do about an exposure to varicella?
If you have been in contact with someone with chickenpox or shingles, or if you have a rash-associated illness that might be chickenpox or shingles, discuss your situation with your healthcare provider. Blood tests may be done to see if you have become infected with the virus or have had the disease in the past. If you are pregnant and not immune and have been exposed to chickenpox or shingles, call your healthcare provider immediately. Your provider may choose to treat you with a medication called varicella-zoster immune globulin (VZIG), but in order for this medication to be most helpful, it needs to be given as soon as possible after your exposure to varicella.
I’m pregnant and have recently been exposed to someone with chickenpox. How will this exposure affect me or my pregnancy?
- Susceptible pregnant women are at risk for associated complications when they contract varicella. Varicella infection causes severe illness in pregnant women, and 10%-20% of those infected develop varicella pneumonia, with mortality (death) reported as high as 40%.
- Because of these risks, pregnant women without evidence of immunity to varicella who have been exposed to the virus may be given varicella-zoster immune globulin (VZIG) to reduce their risk of disease complications.
- If you are pregnant and have never had chickenpox, and you get chickenpox during the:
- First half (about 20 weeks) of your pregnancy, there is a very slight risk (0.4% to 2%) for birth defects or miscarriage.
- Second half of your pregnancy, the baby may have infection without having any symptoms and then get shingles (zoster) later in life.
- Newborns whose mothers develop varicella rash from 5 days before to 2 days after delivery are at risk for neonatal varicella, associated with mortality as high as 30%. These infants should receive preventive treatment with varicella-zoster immune globulin (VZIG).
I’m pregnant and have had a blood test for chickenpox. What do the results of this test show?
The blood test can show that you:
- Are immune (have already had varicella disease or varicella vaccine) and have no sign of recent infection. You have nothing further to be concerned about.
- Are not immune and have not yet been infected. You should avoid anyone with chickenpox during your pregnancy.
- Have or recently had an infection. You should discuss what the risks are for your stage of pregnancy with your healthcare provider.
Is there a way I can keep from being infected with chickenpox?
Yes, make sure all your vaccines are up to date, especially if you are planning a pregnancy. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and those you love. If you are not immune, you should be vaccinated. You will receive two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine one month apart. You should avoid becoming pregnant for at least one month after the last vaccination. Varicella vaccine should not be given to pregnant women.
If you are pregnant, have your healthcare provider give you the varicella vaccine after your baby is delivered.
Shingles Vaccination, what you should know:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) for people 60 years of age and older. This is a one-time vaccination to prevent shingles. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine.
Anyone 60 years of age or older should get the shingles vaccine, regardless of whether they recall having had chickenpox or not. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans ages 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember getting the disease.
Your risk for getting shingles begins to rise around age 50. However, shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) is only recommended for persons age 60 and older because the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine have only been studied in this age group.
Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific time that you must wait after having shingles before receiving the shingles vaccine. The decision on when to get vaccinated should be made with your healthcare provider. Generally, a person should make sure that the shingles rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated.
Additional information can be found at:
For more information, call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) at 573-751-6113 or 866-628-9891 (8-5 Monday thru Friday), or call your local health department.
Department of Health
Shingles (herpes zoster)
Last Reviewed: May 2016
- Further information on shingles from Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research
- Herpes zóster – Medline Plus Información de Salud para Usted
Shingles, also called herpes zoster or zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in the body. Usually the virus does not cause any further problems; however, the virus may re-emerge years later, causing shingles.
Who gets shingles?
Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles, including children. However, shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older. The risk of getting shingles increases as a person gets older. People who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, like cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections, or people who receive drugs that weaken the immune system, such as steroids and drugs given after organ transplantation, are also at greater risk to get shingles.
How is shingles spread?
A person must have already had chickenpox in the past to develop shingles. A person cannot get shingles from a person that has shingles. However, the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles can be spread from a person with active shingles to a person who has never had chickenpox or had the chickenpox vaccine. The person exposed to the virus would develop chickenpox, not shingles. A person with shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase. The blister fluid is filled with virus particles. The virus is spread through direct contact with the rash or through breathing in virus particles that get mixed in the air. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer contagious. A person is not infectious before blisters appear or if pain persists after the rash is gone (post-herpetic neuralgia).
Shingles usually starts as a rash on one side of the face or body. The rash starts as blisters that scab after seven to ten days. The rash usually clears within two to four weeks.
Before the rash develops, there is often pain, itching, or tingling in the area where the rash will develop. Other symptoms of shingles can include fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach.
How soon do symptoms appear?
The virus lies dormant in someone who has had chickenpox in the past. It can reactivate many years later.
What are the complications associated with shingles?
Shingles is not usually dangerous to healthy individuals although it can cause great misery during an attack. Anyone with shingles on the upper half of their face, no matter how mild, should seek medical care at once because of the risk of damage to the eye. Very rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death. For about one person in five, severe pain can continue even after the rash clears up. This pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia. As people get older, they are more likely to develop post-herpetic neuralgia, and it is more likely to be severe.
Is there a treatment for shingles?
Several antiviral medicines, acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir), are available to treat shingles. These medications should be started as soon as possible after the rash appears and will help shorten the illness and decrease how severe the illness is. Pain medicine may also help with pain caused by shingles. Call your provider as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.
Does past infection make a person immune?
Usually. Most people who have shingles have only one episode with the disease in their lifetime. Although rare, a second or even third case of shingles can occur.
Is there a vaccine for shingles?
There are two shingles vaccines currently available, Shingrix and Zostavax. Shingrix vaccine, a newer vaccine, is preferred over Zostavax for the prevention of shingles and its complications. Two doses of Shingrix given 2 to 6 months apart are recommended for healthy adults 50 years of age and older. Shingrix is also recommended for adults who have previously received Zostavax. A single dose of Zostavax may still be used to prevent shingles in certain cases for healthy adults 60 years and older.
What can be done to prevent the spread of shingles?
A vaccine for chickenpox is available and it is hoped that individuals immunized against chickenpox will be less likely to develop shingles in later life.
The risk of spreading the virus that causes shingles is low if the rash is covered. People with shingles should keep the rash covered, not touch or scratch the rash, and wash their hands often to prevent the spread of shingles. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer contagious.