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Nova L.
Should I worry about having shingles at this age?
Im going to the doctor this Friday, I have a trail of blisters developing from the spine on the back of my neck all around the right side of my torso. Feels like a sunburn. My dad says that it looks like shingles but it's rare in younger people...usually middle aged and up are supposed to get them.... I am 22 years old.

Also I live in the house that my dad used to live in and when he lived here that's when he got shingles...so is it contagious? Or maybe a virus in my home that is causing this outbreak?

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox being reactivated in your body. Anyone who has had chicken pox can get shingles, regardless of age. A possible cause is stress or fatigue, but no one is really sure of a definite cause.

The major symptom is a reddish rash with little blisters inside the rash. It can feel as though the skin is burning or tingling and the pain can be extreme (the slightest touch or breeze can cause high levels of pain.) It only affects a limited body area on one side of the body (most commonly around the torso, but also can affect extremities like arms or legs.)

It can be "treated" by antiviral medication, but you need to start the medication within 48-72 hours after seeing the first blisters in order for it to be truly effective. So if you think it's shingles, I definitely recommend getting into the doctor sooner than Friday.

Shingles can not be passed from one person to another. However, if you come into contact with someone who has never had chicken pox, you can pass along chicken pox to them. They also don't recommend that you go around anyone who is undergoing cancer treatments or is at the extremes of age (very young and old.) The house would not contain the virus that would cause it, seeing as how viruses need a body in order to live and reproduce.

Parthiban A
Who Gets Shingles?

First, shingles is not a rare or unusual complication that comes as an unwanted “extra” after a kidney transplant. While most adults know someone who has had a bout of shingles, there is still confusion as to what it is. According to the United States Public Health Service, each year approximately one million Americans suffer from shingles or herpes zoster, a painful infection caused by the Varicella virus, also known as chicken pox. Ten to 20 percent of Americans will have shingles at some point, usually after age 60. Anyone who has had chicken pox can get shingles – almost anyone more than five years old is at risk. The same chicken pox virus that has been inactive in your nerve root cells for decades can suddenly spring to life as an adult skin disease. When the virus “awakens” within the nervous system it causes a blistering rash and severe burning pain, tingling or extreme sensitivity to the skin, usually limited to one side of the body and lasting about a month. Once active, the germs travel along the nerve paths to the skin, leaving a path of destruction along the nerves in which they travel.

Why Does Shingles Develop?

Consider shingles an unwelcome traveler that tags along your transformed life after a kidney transplant. A healthy immune system usually keeps the Varicella zoster virus inactive. In people 65 years or older, even those considered healthy, their immune systems naturally weaken to some germs, such as herpes zoster, resulting in most cases of shingles. Typically, but not always, shingles attacks elderly people whose immune systems are stressed by another disease. As you probably guessed, in addition to the elderly, other people with weakened immune systems risk developing shingles, such as those with kidney failure on dialysis, HIV or AIDS, cancer (especially those receiving chemotherapy), and tissue and organ transplant recipients treated with immunosuppressive drugs [Prednisone, Cyclosporine (Sandimmune), Tacrolimus (Prograf) and Azathioprine (Imuran)].

Shingles is common. It's a version of the herpes virus. Yes it is contagious. No you didn't get it from your home. It can affect people of all ages. You can have your first outbreak at any age, and then it can disappear for years, even decades, (hopefully forever). If it does reappear in middle age, you may wind up with residual pain for life. It is treatable. It is incurable. Good luck.

I have a friend that had shingles - she is 22. She took some medicine and was fine. She continued to go to school everyday and just had weird reddish irritations on her stomach and neck and felt tired and sick. See a doctor if you can. It's not super serious or at least it was no big deal with my friend. Good luck to you! I'm sure you will be just fine! Get some rest and eat healthy!

shingles is not contagious to my knowledge. i worked with a lady who had shingles and its small red bumps it hurts also.... it is related to chicken pox... usually u are older when u get them but young people can get them too.. my child has had chicken pox 3 times... i would get in to a doctor sooner than friday. you can research your condition at www.webmd.com... hope your feeling better soon

Sassy OLD Broad
Chances are you were exposed to some child who just had a chicken pox vaccine or has chicken pox. It could have happened at the mall. I had shingles when I was 17 and it's very painful. However, you can go to the doc and get a prescription for a medication that will help with the pain and make the recovery shorter. I don't think you have anything to worry about as far as your environment. However, you might want to stay away from elderly folks for a little while. Your doc will tell you what to do. Godloveya.

Diseases don't just affect the old. Anyone alive can delvelop just about any kind of disease in the book, and even some not yet in the book.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, but it's become systemic and chronic. Yes you can get shingles when you're in your 20's, but you can't catch it from a house, only from a live virus. If you've ever had chicken pox you can get shingles as well.

Yes, shingles is contagious and yes, anyone can get it at any age once they have already had the chickenpox.

When I had problems with my breast at age 26, one of the things the dr I had at the time thought that maybe my pain was related to shingles.

I tried to tell them that couldn't be because I didn't have typical symptoms and such. When I later did some research on shingles I found out that it can cause all kinds of symptoms and sometimes a person can have shingles but not have any visible signs either.

This sounds like it could be a rash but the dr will help you try to figure out what is going on when you see him on Friday.

Shingles are contagious, but are contracted from contact with oozing blisters.

You could have shingles, even though it's rare.

Do some reading on the subject if you're diagnosed with shingles. It's my understanding that other auto-immune diseases can follow, such as arthritis. So study up and keep an eye out for symptoms in the future, so you can head off other problems before they do too much damage.

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