How Long Do Shingles Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 – 5 weeks

In most of the case shingles usually last for 2 to 5 weeks. Initially, the shingles occur only once but there are all the chances of recurring infection. Shingle is a viral infection that can occur in anyone who has had experience with chickenpox. Both shingles and chickenpox are caused by the Varicella-zoster virus.

When a person has suffered from chickenpox and heal from it, there are chances that this virus can reactivate in your body at any time. Reactivation of this viral virus in a person’s body leads to the occurrence of shingles. Take all the necessary forethoughts to save yourself from the appearance of the shingles.

How Long Do Shingles Last?

When shingles start surfacing on your body, it may cause some sort of skin sensitivity and pain. There are some early symptoms of shingles such as hot skin, itching, numbness, tingling, irritation, and general discomfort. Within few days, the person will start discerning read rash would generally form around the sensitive area.

After few days, there will be fluid-filled blisters appear at the sensitive site. Within the 10 -12 days of appearing, the fluid-filled blisters will exude before drying up. At this stage, the sloughs will start forming on your skin and tending to heal within 2 weeks.

Shingles have two different stages. First is the prodromal and active stage, a period consists of symptoms without the rash while the active stage or period begins when the rash starts. The usual length of the shingles outbreak is 1 – 2 months. Even if people who have not experienced chickenpox can easily get affected by this virus.

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Just by simply coming in contact with these varicella-zoster-filled virus blisters can cause shingles to you. If their shingles are not covered then it can harm you. But if the person has covered them properly then you are completely safe.

Types of Shingles Curing Timeline
Normal Shingles2-5 Weeks
Severe Shingles 7-10 Weeks

Why Does Shingles Last So Long?

The Shingles discharges are usually for a short period and clear up from the skin within a month. As the healing process begins, the size of the blisters reduces and becomes less painful. But its impact on the health of a human being is generally more long-lasting than its occurrence. Most people get shingles only once in their life.

However, there is the possibility that it can happen more than once. Near about 10 to 15% of the people after shingles experiences severe chronic nerve pain. Keep the rash clean and dry for quick recovery. Don’t rub the rash when it itches or gets dry. Let the blisters settle down by avoiding needless touch.

Take all the antiviral medications prescribed by the doctor to heal the shingles. Use cool compresses and lotions to ease the itching and pain of the rash, blisters. Post-herpetic Neuropathy is one of the most common complications of shingles. PHN refers to the never damage that causes pain and burning that endures once the shingles infection is gone.

It is very challenging to treat PHN. There are high chances that its symptoms can last up to many years. Advanced age and a weak immune system are the main risk factors for PHN. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people above 50 should take two doses of the Shingrex vaccination over a 2-6 month duration.

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It will stop the future occurrences of it. It has been found that this vaccination helps in preventing it and PHN more than 90%. It is always better to have anticipations than to experience long-lasting pains.

Conclusion

Sometimes the early symptoms of shingles might not appear. Some people experience very mild symptoms of shingles. They may have a little bit of itching but there are absolute chances of filing intense pain. People above 50 are having high chances of experiencing shingles.

Over time, the immune system gets weaken with age. If you think that you might have shingles, consult a doctor as soon as possible. If you see any rashes on your body, there is nothing bad in consulting a doctor.

Reference

  1. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0415/p2437.html
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/014107689008301007
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