Discussing the Causes of Shingles Outbreaks
What are the causes of shingles outbreaks?
The sole cause of shingles, a painful skin rash consisting of a red, swollen area of clustered blisters, is an infection of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).
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A note about Discussing the Causes of Shingles Outbreaks
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
Shingles is caused by the same virus responsible for the chickenpox you had as a child, which is in the herpes virus family. After a person contracts, breaks out and comes through a bout of chickenpox, the virus goes dormant within the nervous system (nerve roots), where it will remain hidden for life.
Those who have had chickenpox are a target for shingles. Eventually, it may reactivate (though the reason for this occurrence is not known), traveling along the nerve pathways to your skin and eventually producing shingles. The outbreak can settle in a variety of places - on the face (in and around the eyes or mouth), neck, torso and / or abdomen, arms, or legs. It tends to stay on either one side of the body or the other.
Do you now have a better idea of the causes of shingles outbreaks?
Though the herpes zoster virus is in the herpes family, it is not the same virus responsible for cold sores or genital herpes, which themselves are two strains of the herpes simplex virus, and most commonly sexually transmitted. Approximately a million cases of shingles are reported a year, and about 20% of those who had chicken pox earlier in their lives will at one time later in life develop shingles.
You may be wondering - what are the causes of shingles transmission? Here is more interesting information regarding the transmission and causes of shingles and chickenpox.
Anyone with shingles can pass the virus to a person who has not had chickenpox - this occurring most often through direct contact with the open sores. Once this takes place, the newly infected person will develop chickenpox and not shingles. If the virus should reactivate at a later date, it will reappear the second time as shingles rather than chickenpox. You will only have one outbreak of chickenpox, and often only one outbreak of shingles occurs.
In discussing the causes of shingles outbreaks, it is also important to touch on the importance of strong immunity. In those who are in good shape with healthy immune systems, the virus might stay hidden with no further complications within their lifetime. Of these who do experience an outbreak but seek treatment quickly, the lesions begin healing right away, the pain is not as intense, and within 3 to 5 weeks, all is clear, with few scars in most cases.
When the virus reactivates in those with disease (cancer, etc), or those who are overwhelmed with stress, immune deficiency (HIV / AIDS, radiation or chemotherapy), or a weakness of the immune system brought on by age, it causes the onset of shingles more readily. This is also true for those who have received an organ transplant, due to drugs given them to suppress their natural immunities, as well as those who have an autoimmune disorder, with their own immune system attacking the tissues of their own body. In a sense, you could say these are contributory causes of shingles outbreaks.
A chickenpox vaccine is recommended by medical professionals for teenagers and / or older adults who have never had chickenpox. Research has suggested that those who receive the vaccine (especially in older adults) are not as easily entangled by shingles.
If you have never had chickenpox, nor have you received the chickenpox vaccine, avoid touching those who have either form of the virus - chickenpox or shingles. Until the blisters of shingles begin to scab over, a person is considered contagious and should stay away from newborns and women who are pregnant or nursing.
To learn more about the causes of shingles, its symptoms, as well as its treatments and remedies, read the other related shingles pages and articles.
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