For starters, both shingles (herpes zoster) and chickenpox (varicella) is a result of the same virus called the varicella-zoster virus, but they occur at different ages. Chickenpox can occur at any age, and shingles can occur any time after the person has had chickenpox. The two diseases bring a lot of discomforts to patients. In most cases, they irritate the skin and cause a blistering rash that scabs and may scar.
Whey They Occur and Physical Characteristics
The chickenpox is common in children below five years, while shingles infects typically people over 50 years. Shingles, however, can cause infection in anyone at any age if the chickenpox virus has already infected their body, mostly the elderly. Many cases of infection come from people above 50 years old.
Chickenpox and shingles do tend to differ in look. Chickenpox causes itchy blisters to form all over the body, sometimes internally. Shingles is very painful and often starts with localized numbness/tingling and often but not all the time, a rash. The shingles rash typically displays on one side of the body due to the fact that the follow along nerve pathways.
The blistering rash does not move all over the body like chickenpox does, but stays localized. The most common areas for the appearance of the rash would be the torso and face. It’s quite uncommon for the rash to spread elsewhere.Continue reading →
If you’re like me, you probably had the chicken pox as a kid, way before the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine was introduced to the public. I vaguely remember the itchy spots and can recall lying on the couch for week watching cartoons. But, if you made it through childhood without catching the chicken pox and haven’t been vaccinated now as an adult, you may be begging for trouble. As Julian found out, getting the chickenpox in adulthood is absolutely horrific. As a schoolteacher in Australia you may assume Julian has had just about every cold and virus out there. Children tend to be little Petri dishes, harboring all kinds of germs, but the schoolyard is not where his chickenpox story begins. Julian was spending time with his two sons while on summer break. His oldest son had been vaccinated with the varicella vaccine on schedule, while his youngest was still not old enough for the vaccine. That summer, Julian’s oldest son came down with a mild, short-lived case of the chickenpox. As with many vaccines, even if you get vaccinated it is still possible that you may come down with mild symptoms of the disease should you come in contact with it. Continue reading →
I don’t know about you, but I REMEMBER getting the chickenpox as a young child. It was itchy and awful. And oatmeal baths! Oh, the oatmeal baths!!
Because this is most often a children’s disease, I thought it would be appropriate to litter this post with the some of the cute photos from one of my daughter’s favorite children’s books: Goldie Locks has Chicken Pox by Erin Dealey, illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama.
Although the illustrator makes chicken pox look cute, it’s anything but. Thankfully, due to the vaccine our kids don’t ever need to experience the chickenpox…