Shingles pain is one of the most annoying symptoms when it comes to this condition. We know that shingles is caused by a virus (it is called “varicella zoster” and it is the same one that causes chickenpox). If you have ever had chickenpox, it is probable that you still have a virus that is dormant in your body. It can be inactive for years. The virus usually activates when your immune system gets weaker due to any other infection or illness. Any kind of stress (physical or psychical) can lead to immune system weakening and it can further lead to other conditions, like shingles. We know that some groups of patients are prone to this condition. People with weak immune system are at higher risk of getting shingles. The same can be said for people over 60, since their immune system is not as strong as it was some forty years ago.
Shingles vaccine has proven to be very efficient in fighting shingles, but there are patients who are not recommended to get this vaccine. Pregnant women are strongly advised to talk to a doctor first; people who are on chemotherapy or they are taking medications that weaken the immune system, are also advised not to get the shingles vaccine.
The Shingles Rash and Pain
Shingles is visible on the skin in the form of a rash that affects one side of your body. It appears on rather small parts of your skin and this is usually accompanied by headaches or flu-like symptoms. After some time, the rash will transform into blisters and finally they will heal. However, the pain can remain strong and annoying. Some patients are more concerned about the rash and the blisters, but the pain is equally irritating.
Even though your rash is gone, the pain can prolong and bother you for some time. This is very unpleasant experience, since this kind of pain is commonly mistaken to be a symptom of other conditions, like infections of lungs (or even heart attack).
In most of the cases, the pain will go away once the rash is gone. It takes about a month to heal completely, and this is when you can expect the pain to vanish as well.
The severity of your pain highly depends on which body part is infected. In some cases, the pain can be very serious. Those are the cases of eyes or nose infections. If you are having pain within these areas, you have to visit your doctor.