Can You Get Shingles if You've Never Had Chickenpox?
One of the most common questions that we get at our clinic is whether or not you can get shingles if you've never had chickenpox. The answer, unfortunately, is yes - you can absolutely get shingles even if you've never had chickenpox before. In this blog post, we'll discuss everything you need to know about shingles and their relation to chickenpox.
What is Shingles?
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that can cause a rash on the skin. The virus that causes shingles is the same one that causes chickenpox - it's called varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Shingles occur when the dormant VZV reactivates and starts multiplying, causing a rash to form on the skin.
Shingles are a relatively common condition - according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in three people in the United States will develop shingles at some point in their lives. Shingles are more common as you get older, with around half of all cases occurring in people over 60 years old.
What are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Shingles?
The signs and symptoms of shingles can vary from person to person but typically include a rash, itching, tingling, or burning sensations on the skin. The rash usually appears as a band of blisters that run along one side of the body. The causes of shingles can also lead to fever, headache, and nausea.
Is it Possible to Get Shingles if You've Never Had Chickenpox?
Yes, it is possible to get shingles even if you've never had chickenpox before. The virus that causes shingles (varicella-zoster virus) is the same one that causes chickenpox. If you've never had chickenpox before, you can still get infected with VZV and develop shingles.
When you're infected with VZV for the first time, it causes chickenpox. Chickenpox usually resolves on its own after a few weeks, but the virus does not go away. Instead, it is dormant in your body and remains inactive (latent) until something triggers the reactivation of VZV later in life. It can happen for any number of reasons, such as stress, a weakened immune system, or certain medications. When reactivated, the virus starts multiplying and causes shingles.
Can You Prevent Shingles?
Yes, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent shingles. The most important is to get vaccinated against shingles. In addition, you can also help protect yourself against shingles by keeping your immune system strong, avoiding stress, and practicing good hygiene.
You may even seek treatment or consult a doctor when you first experience early symptoms of shingles. Shingles treatment in Davie can help to speed up the healing process and may prevent more serious complications from developing.
The Bottom Line
So, whether you've had chickenpox before or not, you can still get shingles. If you have any symptoms or are concerned that you may have shingles, please contact our office immediately for a complimentary consultation. We'll be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you get the treatment you need.