Keep reading for important information on chickenpox and shingles, plus tips on dealing with the pain associated with shingles.
What is chickenpox?
Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection that causes the characteristic red, itchy, fluid-filled blisters. Blisters can appear all over the body and the infection could last 1 to 2 weeks.
Although adults can get chickenpox, it is more common in children. However, when adults get chickenpox, the symptoms are more severe than in kids and could lead to complications.
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes shingles. Once you have had chickenpox, although it is not likely to recur, the virus could remain dormant in your body for years.
When the varicella-zoster virus gets reactivated, it causes shingles, which is a very painful viral infection.
Chickenpox is completely preventable, and here in Singapore the chickenpox vaccination can be given to your baby when he is 12-18 months old.
What is shingles and who is at risk of getting it?
Shingles, a painful skin rash which, in most cases, appears on one side of the body, is caused by the re-activation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus.
It is also known as zoster or herpes zoster.
Both children and adults can get shingles if they have previously gotten chickenpox. Although it is not fully known why the varicella-zoster virus re-awakens, experts say that stress and decreased immunity as one ages could trigger the onset of shingles.