27 August 2021

A Critical Thing to Know About Shingles

So a critical thing to know about Shingles is that you need to get treatment within 72 HOURS of your first shingles rash appearing so you can start the antiviral medicine which will reduce your symptoms, shorten the duration, and most critically, prevent ongoing pain (postherpetic neuralgia) after your rash clears.

I missed this 72 hour window by ~12 hours. Based on how my blistery rash looked, my doc estimated I will have 4 months of pain. (Trust me, it sucks.)

If you're 50+, get the Shingles vaccine! Learn more from the CDC.

Other key things to know:
If you had chickenpox in the past, you can get shingles.
Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus (varicella zoster virus). After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles. –CDC
You don't have to be over 50 to get shingles.

So be vigilant. I didn't know how it presented. I don't want that for you. 

If you have muscle pain and then a rash appears as well, get checked out right away! That is my anecdotal experience. I'm not a medical professional.

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