If you had chickenpox as a child you may remember the red, painfully itchy blister-like rash, and perhaps the fever and fatigue that came along with it.
Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox (varicella-zoster) and is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Reactivation occurs in approximately 10 percent of people who previously had chickenpox.
Addressing the shingles virus naturally is the most effective way to manage an outbreak. Natural treatments include essential oils, proper nutrition, and natural supplements that provide support for your immune system and help to manage stress.
Let's take a look at each of these and answer any questions you may have about the shingles virus.
What Causes Shingles?
Shingles is a condition that presents with a painful rash or blisters on the skin that is shaped like a band or belt.
It can affect people of all ages, but is most common in people over 50 and in individuals with weakened immune systems (such as from cancer treatment, diabetes, or infections that weaken the immune system).
The medical term for the shingles virus is “herpes zoster.” It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. The first time a person is infected with the virus they get chickenpox, not shingles.
After you have chickenpox, the virus can hide dormant in the body’s nerves. Years later it can inflame those nerves and show up as shingles.
Up to 20 % of the population will develop shingles in their lifetime, and 1 in 3 people who live to age 80 will develop shingles.
Shingles usually only affects a small area of just one side of the body and pain is the common initial symptom of shingles. A few days later, you may likely see a red rash, but not always since some people have pain without a rash.