A lot of people believe that singles and chickenpox are related, and that’s because they are. The same virus that causes chickenpox —- the varicella-zoster virus —- is known to cause shingles, too. But can you still get shingles if you’ve never had chicken pox? To find out the complex relationship between these two viral conditions, make sure to keep on reading this blog.
What is Chicken Pox?
Chickenpox is a viral skin condition that is also known as varicella-zoster. It often leads to a vibrant red rash that develops on your skin during childhood. One important thing about chickenpox is that the condition is extremely contagious. If you do not have the vaccine, chances are you will probably have to suffer from its symptoms at least once in your life. Moreover, chickenpox can be identified through the bright red blisters that pop up on your skin, which slowly turn into scabs.
What are Shingles?
Shingles is like an extension of chickenpox. That is to say, people who get chickenpox in their childhood are likely to get shingles as an adult. This happens because the chickenpox virus never truly goes away. Once it enters your body, it stays inside, slowly getting reactivated later to give way to shingles.
Much like chickenpox, shingles is also a skin rash that leads to painful blisters appearing on your skin. However, shingles usually pop up as a cluster of blisters on only one part of your body. This means that rather than being spread out and appearing as individual blisters, they come together to form a patch of pustules.
Can You Get Shingles if You Never Had Chickenpox?
In some cases, you might be able to contract shingles in adulthood, even if you never had a chickenpox phase. But your body must be exposed to the varicella-zoster virus to give birth to shingles.
The reason for this is the virus itself and the way it gets embedded into your body. Since there is no cure for shingles, once the chickenpox virus gets through to you, it settles inside your nerves to hide out for years. Thus, when you get old and your immune system starts growing down, the virus can resurface in the form of shingles.
However, it is important to note that if you come into contact with a person who has these viral blisters, they can pass the contamination onto you. This can ultimately give way to a reaction on its own.
In A Nutshell
In short, you can not get shingles if you never had chickenpox before. Nevertheless, if you ever feel like you might be at risk of developing a serious skin rash condition, such as the varicella-zoster, make sure to visit a professional for an evaluation. For more information on treatments and cures, feel free to contact Genesis Pain Clinic at (913) 871-9888. You can also come and visit us for an in-person evaluation at 6700 W 121st St, Suite 300, Overland Park, KS 66209.