5 Myths About Shingles Busted!
What once was considered to be only a medical condition that impacted the elderly, more and more research from the medical and scientific world has proven just how serious shingles can be – even for those that have yet to reach the twilight of their lives.
Essentially a tremendously painful medical condition caused by the exact same virus responsible for chickenpox – with many of the same telltale traits that have been “beefed up” – shingles can be a very serious medical emergency if it’s not taking care of justice soon as humanly possible.
And while you’ll want to seek out proper medical intervention the moment that you feel you may be dealing with shingles (as well as researching as much as you can from information provided by a doctor), hopefully this quick and easy to read guide about the five biggest myths out there in regards to shingles gives you a more in-depth understanding about what you may be up against.
Before we dive right into those five pressing myths and realities behind those shingles situations, it’s critical that you understand the basics of the shingles viral infection.
As mentioned above, shingles is caused by the exact same viral infection that causes chickenpox, a viral infection known as herpes zoster. Responsible for causing a number of red bumps, lesions, blisters, and a whole host of other skin irritants – just to name a few – the impact that shingles has goes far beyond cosmetics. The disease that preys on those with weakened immune systems, it’s critical that you take care of shingles the moment that you begin to feel as though you’re coming down with the symptoms – if only to protect your short and long term health.
Myth #1 – Shingles only impacts the elderly
The biggest myths about shingles may also be the most dangerous myth about shingles. While most believe that only the elderly will ever come down with the shingles disease, nothing could be further from the truth.
Sure, the overwhelming majority of those treated with shingles viral infections are of the age of 50 or older, there are numerous cases each and every single year about people coming down with shingles before their 25th birthday.
This is because shingles specifically attacks those who have a weakened immune system. And while the elderly certainly have a smaller tolerance to fighting off viral infections than those who are young and in the prime of their life, there are a number of environmental, genetic, and medical issues that may contribute to a weakened immune system – leaving you foldable to this serious medical condition.
Myth #2 – Shingles is incredibly contagious
This is a little bit more difficult to debunk, only because shingles comes from the index same virus that chickenpox does.
While shingles itself cannot be given to any other person who has already had chickenpox (as your body has already built up the necessary tolerances to fight off and kill that viral infection, close or direct contact with a shingles rash can certainly cause a chickenpox infection in someone that hasn’t had it in the past.
This makes those living with shingles rather difficult to treat, especially if they have come in contact with children or adults that haven’t come down with chickenpox themselves. It’s also critical that you understand (and something that most doctors will tell you straight away) at shingles ceases to become contagious in a moment that the rash has crusted over and also before it appears in the first place.
Myth #3 – Once you’ve had shingles (and beaten it) you’ll never have to worry about it again
Propagated by a number of prescriptions available to the general public, the myths that shingles can be beat once and for all – a forever cure in essence – have been going around for some time now. But that’s exactly what they are, myths.
The truth of the matter is that while instances of repeat infections of the shingles virus are relatively low (projected at somewhere around 1% to 4%), the reality of the situation is like all viral infections there are only solutions to mitigate its impact – not to eliminate it forever.
This means that all of those high-powered prescriptions that you may have been led to invest in will only be effective at crippling the symptoms and the replication of the shingles virus – not a 100% cure that removes it entirely from your body. All viral infections (and their treatments) are in the same boat, and it’s an important distinction that you understand completely.
Myth #4 – Shingles is a purely cosmetic issue
Because the general rash, itchiness, and burst skin is generally all that occurs from a shingles virus infection most people believe it to be a relatively “cosmetic issue” and nothing more.
The reality of the situation is that shingles can bring on a tremendous amount of intense and debilitating pain, crippling your ability to lead a normal life. Basic functions like putting on clothes, taking a shower, or even walking – a little lonely down and relaxing – become almost impossible. This cripples your ability to sleep, can cause serious depression, and can even in pair your vision and hearing – if not treated effectively.
Myth #5 – Shingles cannot be prevented
doctors have been arguing this for some time now, but the truth of the matter is that a vaccine available in 2006 has been shown to reduce the risk for shingles by nearly 50%. Prescriptions have yet to be made available for the solution, but if it continues to be as effective as they claim it shouldn’t be too terribly long until that is a reality.
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