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When a person is going to get an outbreak of shingles, he or she will experience tingling of the skin along with the skin being highly sensitive. In addition, the region will be painful, and the person may suffer from headache, fever and enlargement of the lymph nodes.
After a few days, the rash will occur in the region in the form of a band or patch. The rash comes as red spots and is usually present on one side of the body. The spots soon fill with fluid and turn into blisters and then the blisters break open forming ulcers. After that the ulcers dry up and crustation occurs.
Many people suffering from shingles complain that they still experience the pain even after the rash has disappeared. This is referred to as post-herpetic neuralgia and is more common in older people than younger people.
Shingles occurs when the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox, reactivates itself in the body. When a person suffers from chickenpox, the virus tends to stay in the body in a dormant state. However, many years later, the virus begins to travel along the nerves and moves towards the skin resulting in shingles. Scientists have not been able to find out why the varicella virus reactivates, but they do know that this reactivation is some how connected to the weakening of the immune system. The immune system can get weakened when there is an infection in the body, or when the person suffers from an emotional or physical trauma.
The question that many people ask is whether it is possible to catch chickenpox from shingles. Usually, people who have already had chickenpox during their childhood have the virus present in their bodies. Hence, they are immune to further attacks from the virus. Such people cannot catch chickenpox from shingles. On the other hand, if a person has never had chickenpox, then they do not have the immunity to the virus. Such people are at risk of catching chickenpox from shingles. The same is also true for people with weakened or compromised immune systems, like those undergoing treatment for cancer. In such people, there is a possibility that they can catch chickenpox once more.
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