By DAVE RANDOLPH
Shingles is a painful rash caused by the chickenpox virus that most commonly affects older adults who have suffered from chickenpox at some point in their life. So, what causes you to get shingles? Well, after having the chickenpox the varicella zoster virus lies dormant in your body’s nervous cells. Then at any given time this virus becomes active again and travels through the nerve pathways to your skin’s surface resulting in the painful rash and tiny blisters that come with having shingles.
There are some antiviral drugs that can help in reducing the severity of your symptoms. However, they are only effective if you start them within 72 hours of the rash appearing. It is very important that if you have a painful rash appear you get it checked out by a physician so that you can be properly treated. The rash will begin with small itchy bumps that will eventually fill with fluid. You may experience other symptoms like fever, chills, nausea, headache, and a burning, tingling or numbness underneath your skin.
Luckily for all of us there is a preventative measure available known as the Shingrix vaccine. It is a two-shot series that may or may not be covered by your insurance. However, it has been proven to prevent shingles in most patients and in those that did contract shingles it was a mild case. It is recommended for adults 50 years and older. If you have any further questions on the vaccine please feel free to call into Dave’s radio show or the pharmacy anytime. (308) 762-4811.