Thrive: Shingles Can Strike Years After Chicken Pox
Anyone who has experienced the chicken pox virus may have a reactivation known as shingles.
"What happens when people have chicken pox once that clears and goes away that virus is never really gone. It kinds hides out in the nerve cells and sits there dormant," Mankato Clinic Dermatologist Dr. Paul Bandelin said.
When shingles initially presents it has symptoms like numbness, irritation, pain and stinging in an area.
Those happen one to five days before the rash is present.
"Comes out in a dermatome, which is an area of the body usually localized to one side or the other," Dr. Bandelin said.
But not everybody will have a rash, some people will only have the symptoms.
For anyone over 60, there is a vaccination that is recommended.
"That can decrease the risk of getting shingles by about 50%," Dr. Bandelin said.
Shingles are contagious.
"You can't catch shingles from someone with shingles, but if you haven't had chicken pox you can catch chicken box from the shingles," Dr. Bandelin said.
It's important to see your dermatologist or primary care doctor immediately to get started on an antibiotic.
--KEYC News 12