Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) the same virus as the shingles, also called herpes zoster (or just zoster). The chickenpox virus will affect 1 in 3 people during their lifetime and spreads easily from people with chickenpox to others who have never had the disease or never been vaccinated. Transmission occurs from person-to-person by direct contact or through the air. Chickenpox mostly affects children under the age of 10 (most common under the age of 4). Chickenpox is usually mild, but it can be serious in infants under 12 months of age, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
The administration of a chickenpox vaccination for children under the age of 10 became quite popular in 1995 dramatically controlling the prevalence of the chickenpox virus. The chickenpox varicella vaccine is a two-step dosage recommended at 12 months of age with the second dose between 4-6 years. Since being introduced the number of children being hospitalized from severe chickenpox complications has dropped by 90% according to research by Dr. Gina Rosenfeld, MD, FAAP, a private practice pediatrician for over 17 years and a Board Certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Figure 1: Chickenpox or varicella-zoster virus (VZV)
All three stages of the chickenpox rash (red bumps, blisters, and scabs) appear on the body at the same time. The rash may spread wider or be more severe in kids who have weak immune systems or skin disorders like eczema.
Because the chickenpox the virus stays in your body it can cause shingles later in life affecting over 1 million people per year in the US. Shingles are far more common in adults over the age of 50 and the risk of contracting shingles increases with age with at least half of all people 85 and older will have the ailment.
The good news is that unlike the highly contagious chickenpox you cannot catch the shingles zoster virus from another person like you can chickenpox. However, a person who has never had chickenpox (or the chickenpox vaccine) could get chickenpox from someone with shingles. For people with a weakened immune system from other diseases such as cancer, or by drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy the likelihood of having shingles is even greater.
Figure 2: Shingles on the torso -
A shingles rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and typically heals within 2 – 4 weeks. The main symptom of shingles is constant severe pain from irritated skin. The skin can become so sensitive that any contact with the skin can cause extreme pain spasms. Other symptoms include fever, headache, chills and an upset stomach. In rare case shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
Approximately 1 in 5 (20%) people can continue severe pain long after the rash has cleared up. This long-lasting pain is called “post-herpetic neuralgia (or PHN) is usually defined as zoster-related pain that occurs in the area of the shingles rash even after the rash is gone. It can last for a few weeks, months, or longer. The older you are when you have zoster, the more at risk of developing post-herpetic neuralgia.
According to a 1993 study by the CDC, the incidence of shingles has nearly doubled in the US adults population. One explanation for this extreme increase is related to the generally successful effort to eradicate chickenpox in children through vaccination. According to this theory, because most children no longer get chickenpox disease (which used to be a ritual of childhood), their parents no longer get the immunological “boost” that comes from being exposed to the virus while caring for sick children according to William Schaffner, MD, a pediatrician and vaccine expert at Vanderbilt University.
Yes, the chickenpox vaccine does not prevent shingles. The vaccine is made from a live but weakened, or attenuated, varicella-zoster virus and some medical researchers believe that there is a connection between children being immunized against chickenpox and an increase in adult shingles cases. In another clinical study by Bialek and colleagues found that shingles were on the rise even before the chickenpox vaccine was licensed for children in 1995. Also, adults in states with mandatory chickenpox immunization didn’t have higher rates of shingles than those in states where children weren’t as well-vaccinated, and therefore more likely to get sick and provide immune boosters to parents and grandparents. It’s possible that as the U.S. population is getting older, more people are seeing their doctors for shingles. “There are probably different factors involved in the increase,” says Bialek. And it may take decades to sort it out. But regardless of whether shots against chickenpox increased the risk of shingles, the shot against shingles is the best way to avoid it.
The new FDA Approved Shingles Vaccination: Shingrix Recombinant Zoster (shingles) vaccine (or Shingrix RZV), was approved in 2017 for the prevention of shingles. The CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services are recommending that people who were vaccinated with the first shingles vaccination called Zostavax (originally approved in 2006) to get the new Shingrix RZV since the efficacy has been clinically proven to be much greater than the Zostavax vaccine.
The red, itchy skin rash usually starts on the belly or back and face. Then it spreads to almost everywhere else on the body, including the scalp, mouth, arms, legs, and genitals.
The rash begins as many small red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites. They appear in waves over 2 to 4 days, then develop into thin-walled blisters filled with fluid. The blister walls break, leaving open sores, which finally crust over to become dry, brown scabs.
Figure 3: Chickenpox or varicella-zoster virus (VZV)
Although the root causes are very different for moderate to severe eczema, plaque psoriasis, chickenpox, and shingles in nonclinical diagnosis the physical symptoms are somewhat similar and most effective treatments work.
can also be used to treat various viral skin infections, such as chickenpox and shingles but it's best to check with your pharmacist before using hydrocortisone.
Soothems even have magic blue moons and free storybook to help children imagine their sensitive skin feel better and healing.
Friction from clothing against sensitive, irritated skin is not only painful and very uncomfortable it can make the condition worse. Regular polyester, nylon, wool, and even cotton garments can all be abrasive on the inflamed skin rub against sores making them more sensitive and irritated. Choose your clothing and sleepwear carefully when you have herpes zoster or shingles.
Dermatologists recommend Soothems line of eczema and psoriasis sleepwear undergarments for adults that are designed to be worn next to extremely sensitive skin. If you prefer loose clothing size up one size. Moderate to severe eczema and psoriasis symptoms are similar to chickenpox and shingles in the skin becomes hot, burning, irritated and sensitive to touch. Dry skin creates a high desire to scratch the itch which leads to many more complications including possible open sores that bleed and to the spreading infection with potential permanent scarring.
Soothems offers clothing and pajamas made from TEWLTect® https://www.soothems.com/pages/tewltech-fabric- an FDA registered, class 1, medical device fabric for babies with moderate to severe eczema & adults with psoriasis. The soft, smooth, friction-free fabric will not stick to rashes and sores and dramatically helps comfort people suffering from chickenpox and shingles.
TEWLTect is 60% blend of TENCEL™ with the biopolymer Chitosan and viscose made from organic bamboo that is encapsulated in dermatologist recommended Zinc Oxide for helping the skin’s natural barrier to heal and to prevent infection.
Doctor recommended Soothems may even be covered by Health Insurance benefits or Medicaid. Soothems.com accepts HSA or FSA debit cards.
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The Vitamin D Council’s research correlates conclusions that having high enough levels of vitamin D3 may reduce your risk of developing eczema and psoriasis and the prevalence of eczema and psoriasis flareups. And that people with normal to higher levels of vitamin D3 will help manage eczema flareups and they will have fewer skin infections.
Conversely, a prominent and leading 2017 study from a team of Canadian researchers found that increasing vitamin D level is unlikely to reduce the risk and susceptibility to asthma, elevated immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis conditions in adults or children.
What is the best fabric for eczema?
Human skin spends most of its time in close contact with textiles. Textiles can influence skin functions in both - positive and negative - ways. It is important for eczema and psoriasis caregivers to understand the fundamental properties of different fibers and fabrics and what the potential ramifications of wearing them next to sensitive skin could be.
If you have any questions regarding the fit of an item, please contact Soothems at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +612.601.0700, we are happy to help.
Using soft tape, measure around the head just above the ears, across the forehead to determine circumference.
TEWLTect smart fabric has a generous amount of stretch.
Using soft tape, measure around your head, from the center of your forehead, keeping tape straight and parallel to the floor. Measure around the fullest part.
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