Women Having Shingles Symptoms

Why Do I Keep Seeing Commercials for Shingles?

Symp­toms, Risk, and the Shin­gles Con­nec­tion to COVID-19

If you watch late-night tele­vi­sion, chances are, you’ve seen at least one com­mer­cial for the shin­gles virus, with some­one urg­ing you to talk to your provider about get­ting vaccinated.

It might be annoy­ing to see these com­mer­cials over and over, and you may feel like they’re get­ting more air­time. That’s prob­a­bly because, in the US, shin­gles rates are on the rise.

Shin­gles is a viral infec­tion that caus­es a painful skin rash. If you’ve had chick­en­pox, that same virus (vari­cel­la-zoster) is reac­ti­vat­ed to cause shin­gles. The chick­en­pox virus remains in some of your nerve cells long after you’ve recovered.

If you’re under 50 years old, shin­gles might not be some­thing you’ve begun to wor­ry about yet — but know­ing what it is and why pre­ven­tion is impor­tant can help pro­tect you and your aging loved ones. 

How Do I Know If I Have Shingles?

Shin­gles is a dis­ease that can cause rash­es on your body. These rash­es often form around your waist, face, or body. The rash typ­i­cal­ly cov­ers a small area and will occur on one side of your body (like only on the right side or only on the left side). 

Get­ting a rash from shin­gles can be every­thing from itchy and annoy­ing, to painful and burn­ing. For most adults, the virus stays inac­tive and it nev­er leads to shin­gles. But, for about 33% of adults, the virus will become active again and cause shingles.

In addi­tion to a rash, you might also expe­ri­ence the fol­low­ing shin­gles symp­toms:

  • Blis­ters

  • Itch­ing, tin­gling, or numb­ness in your skin

  • Burn­ing or shoot­ing pain

  • Fever or chills

  • Upset stom­ach, headache, chills, or fever

If you are expe­ri­enc­ing shin­gles symp­toms, call your Duly provider right away. Shin­gles usu­al­ly clears up in less than a month, and you have mul­ti­ple options for antivi­ral med­ica­tions that can make your shin­gles less intense and last for less time. These med­ica­tions are most effec­tive the ear­li­er you start tak­ing them, so reach out to your provider as soon as you notice shin­gles symp­toms or rash.

What Else Can I Do to Low­er My Risk For Shingles?

If you are over 50 years old, the best way to low­er your risk of get­ting shin­gles is to get your shin­gles vac­cine.* The CDC-rec­om­mend­ed vac­cine for shin­gles is called Shin­grix, and it comes in two dos­es.

Get­ting the 2‑dose shin­gles vac­cine can reduce your risk of get­ting shin­gles — it’s over 90% effec­tive at pre­vent­ing the dis­ease for most healthy adults aged 50 years and older.

*Pre­vi­ous­ly, the vac­cine for shin­gles was Zostavax — which has since been dis­con­tin­ued in the US. Even if you got the Zostavax vac­cine, the CDC also rec­om­mends that you get the Shin­grix vaccine.

If you are over 50 years old, sched­ule a vis­it with your Duly provider today to get your shin­gles vac­cine.

What’s the Con­nec­tion Between Shin­gles and COVID-19?

In the wake of the pan­dem­ic, many peo­ple now won­der about how cer­tain con­di­tions con­nect to or might be affect­ed by COVID-19. Shin­gles is no different. 

There are two main ques­tions you may have about shin­gles risk and COVID-19: 

  • Does the COVID vac­cine cause shingles? 

  • Does COVID itself cause shingles?

When it comes to the COVID-19 vac­cine, recent stud­ies have shown that get­ting the vac­cine does not increase your chances of get­ting shin­gles. What can impact your risk of get­ting shin­gles, how­ev­er, is get­ting COVID-19.

The con­nec­tion between the two con­di­tions isn’t clear, and a COVID-19 infec­tion does not cause you to get shin­gles. While COVID-19 caus­es symp­toms like fever, mus­cle aches, and dif­fi­cul­ty breath­ing, it does not cause you to break out in a shin­gles rash. 

What COVID-19 does is low­er your immune system’s abil­i­ty to fight off infec­tions — and one poten­tial trig­ger for shin­gles is a weak­ened immune sys­tem. COVID-19 is not going to turn into shin­gles, but it can set the scene for shin­gles to make an appear­ance more eas­i­ly. The COVID-19 vac­cine is a safe and effec­tive way to low­er your risk of get­ting COVID-19.

Pro­tect­ing Your­self and Your Loved Ones From Shingles

If you haven’t turned 50 yet, shin­gles may not be some­thing that’s on your mind. While you may have a few more years before sched­ul­ing your shin­gles vac­cine, you may have an aging loved one who should get vaccinated. 

Check-in with your old­er par­ents or loved ones to see if they have got­ten their vac­cine. They may not real­ize it’s time or not know they should get the new Shin­grix vac­cine even if they already got the Zostavax vaccine. 

With your sup­port, they can be pro­tect­ed from shin­gles after two easy appoint­ments, allow­ing them to age in good health.

Health Topics:

  • I actively listen and treat my patients with compassion and respect to build a trusting and lasting relationship. I view the patient-physician relationship as a partnership; my goal is to provide high quality and efficient care in a compassionate way by educating and involving my patients in the decision making process. I treat all my patients as if they are my family; giving them the same time, dedication and commitment.