Signs of Shingles and Their Difference From Chicken Pox

Signs of Shingles

Chicken pox and shingles causes result from the same virus and yet are very different in many ways. Chicken pox and shingles are some of the most misunderstood and yet very common ailments that many people will experience in their lifetime. The full blown illnesses in both cases are hardly difficult to identify, however the signs of shingles and chickenpox in the days before their telltale rashes manifest are very dissimilar. While chickenpox can be in your system and even contagious for a day or two before you even know it’s there, shingles symptoms actually present in the opposite, and you will likely know that something is very wrong long before your skin shows any signs of problems.

Unlike the common and often childhood variant of varicella, signs of shingles can start in an abundance of places that are not your skin. Headaches are not uncommon, and so is sensitivity to light. This can make many people think that they are having migraines. Prior to the rash that clues you into the condition that you are developing, you may also experience tingling and itching. One of the most unpleasant signs of shingles however is pain. For many sufferers, this can feel like a pulled muscle or strain. The pain can be constant and feel deep and can be hard to relieve even with home care. In fact, shingles pain relief often employs the use of prescription medications used to relieve nerve pain, or steroids for inflammation, which can also cause painful symptoms. Because skin problems are normally the main symptom of chicken pox, and are merely one of many signs of shingles that you may experience, it’s easy to see how the early stages of these two related conditions are still very different.

Other differences between the two have to do with the spread of the condition. Chickenpox are airborne and can be spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact, which is why it’s so much more contagious than the more mature version of the condition. The fluid filled blisters are the means of spread with shingles and coughing cannot spread the illness. Another difference is severity; chickenpox is rarely serious and rather short lived. Shingles however can cause many complications, primarily because of its incidence in older people and the substantially longer duration that symptoms and signs of shingles can persist. Serious complications such as shingles on face areas that can lead to ocular issues can also exist. A similarity however is the period of time that you can pass it on to others. Both the chicken pox and shingles contagious period usually lasts a few days but this can vary from case to case.

While similar in some ways, there are many differences between the two conditions. Early identification, diagnosis and treatment are essential to the treatment and management, not to mention the reduction in spread factor of both ailments.