Shingles is more common in people after 50 years old, but young people also can kena. There are vaccine available but I'm not sure if it really works. Anyway, it's good to learn the early symptoms:
1) Skin feels pain/burning but you don't see any changes on the skin. (May take 1-14 days for early symptom)
2) Flu-like symptom, muscle tired or back ache (Maybe)
4) Will feel wanting to eat more sugar(Maybe)
5) General tiredness, malaise.
* Maybe means I didn't have those symptoms but others have it but I have cold symptom on the same day that i have skin pain. See pictures.
from week 1 - Week3
5) Skin gets pinkish and little bumps about 1mm starts to pop up. Skin still burning. Only on one side of the body. There are people who gets two sides(rarely i think)
6) More bumps coming up and if you look carefully, the earlier bumps starts to form very tiny blisters.
7) Then, more bumps and getting bigger and damn painful :( burning, pricking, and like poking on your muscles.
8) Later, the bumps will dry. Some may be broken accidentally, and starts to scab or it will be dry and become flat.
week 4 - week 5
9) Scabs will form... just prickly pain now and then at this stage, but may be very bad for some people - maybe old people.
*THIS PART VERY IMPORTANT
If you have any of the symptoms in preliminary section, go to your doctor and get antiviral(not antibiotic--> only works on bacteria but this is a virus) - within 3 days to be effective
[From web: Such drugs include acyclovir and valacyclovir, and are used to help shorten the outbreak of the virus, thus diminishing the possibility of developing Post-Herpetic Neuralgia. The anti-viral drug Valtrex, a brand of valacylovir, has recently been developed, tested, and approved by the FDA for the treatment of Shingles. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids are also helpful as they are thought to have anti-viral activity. ]
If you manage to get this drug, you can contain the virus within 1 week!, from bumps to scabs. If not contained, it may spread more and it's very dangerous if it gets to the eye region, which may result in scar on the eye hence, lessen your visual ability.
BUT if you are too late ... still got help:
1) Take Vitamin B complex - B6 to increase immunity and B12 to promote nerve regeneration
2) Take vitamin C - to build immunity and an article mentioned that it is though to have antiviral activity.
3) For the pain - paracetamol doesn't work. Get Non-steroid pain relieve, like IBUPROFEN(brand is Nurofen - also anti-inflammatory). If it is more pain...
Found this on a webpage:[For mild to moderate pain, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and ketoprofen (Orudis KT) can be effective. For moderate to severe pain, more powerful pain killers may be needed, such as prescription NSAIDs or narcotic analgesics. Corticosteroids (for example, prednisone, methylprednisolone, cortisone, and hydrocortisone) are also sometimes prescribed to reduce the pain, discomfort, inflammation, redness, and itching associated with the rash and blisters.]
4) Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water, rest well at home and don't get sunshine on it.
but if don't take care and too late.. one may get Post Herpetic Neuralgia(PHN). Nerve pain even after the scaps are gone. Can lasts up to years but this so far is beyond my scope of experiment. :P You can read more in an article I attached. Also, some people have it a few times..although most people only have it once.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE - it's better to avoid it! Eat some multivitamin pills daily, fruits, vegetables, exercise, relax.. that's all I can help.
Normally, those below 50 years old won't be too severe. It's more severe in older people. Sorry to scare you but better not have it at all.
From the Shingles Victim,
- My Sister -