Why you should get your rash checked to know if it’s shingles 


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Why you should get your rash checked to know if it’s shingles 
If not diagnosed and treated right away, shingles can lead to serious complications

We know that at 50, you already have enough things that you worry about when it comes to your health. But that doesn’t mean you should only prioritize some and disregard other conditions. If you haven’t yet, you also need to look out for shingles. 

What’s shingles and what are its symptoms?

If you’ve had chickenpox before, the varicella-zoster virus that causes that and shingles is already present in your body.2 It’s just laying dormant in the nerve tissue near the spinal cord and the brain, waiting to attack when your immune system starts lowering its guard.3

How shingles manifests in the body is similar to chickenpox except that it can be more debilitating and can take a while before it heals.4 It appears as painful and blistering rashes on one side of the chest, abdomen, or face.3 People with shingles can also feel aching, burning, stabbing, or shock-like sensations.5

Unlike chickenpox, shingles – which develops in older adults – can lead to serious complications like severe and long-lasting rash, long-term nerve pain or postherpetic neuralgia, hearing problems, blindness, pneumonia, and brain inflammation (encephalitis).6-8

When should it be on your health radar?

Since chickenpox and shingles are developed from the same type of virus, anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for developing shingles.1 But adults who are 50 years old and above are especially more prone to it.9

It’s because as we grow older, our immune system starts to weaken, making it harder to fight diseases like shingles. People with weak immune systems are prone to developing complications caused by shingles.10 

So even if you think you never had chickenpox before or cannot recall if you had one, it wont hurt to take precautionary steps early on.

How to keep shingles at bay

Fortunately, there are ways to keep shingles at bay or at least protect yourself from complications. 

The first thing you should do is to spot symptoms of a weakening immune system – constant exhaustion, frequent colds and illnesses that last longer than usual are some signs – and work on strengthening it. 

Of course, doing that always requires proper diet and regular exercise, but more importantly, a regular visit to your doctor. Having routine checkups will help you identify nutrient deficiencies or any anomalies in your body that need attention. 

You can also check with your doctor on the proper vaccinations that you should take to help you prevent diseases like shingles. 

Growing older comes with its own sets of blessings and challenges. It’s up to us to make sure that we take care of our bodies and live a good quality of life for as long as we can. 

For more information, visit What is Shingles? Rappler.com


1Harpaz et al, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) 2008; 57:1

2Mayo Clinic, Shingles Overview Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention 2019;1-4

3Mueller NH, Neuorologic Clinics 2008; 26;675-697 

45 Harpaz et al, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) 2008; 57:1

6 NCIRS, Zoster vaccine for Australian adults 2021 

7Kedar S, Jayagopal LN, Berger JR, Neurological and Opthalmological Manifestations of Varicella Zoster Virus, June 2019; 220-231

8Espiritu, R., Rich M., Herpes Zoster Encephalitis, Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice July 2007; 15:284-288 

9Johnson RW; Therapeutic advances in vaccines 2015;3;109-20

10 Harpaz et al, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) 2008; 57:1

A health service message brought to you by GSK

NP-PH-HZU-PRSR-240003| February 2024

For further information consult your doctor

Kindly forward all adverse events to GSK Philippines via ph.safety@gsk.com

©2024 GSK group of companies and its licensor

GlaxoSmithKline Philippines Inc.

23F The Finance Centre, 26th St. cor. 9th Ave. Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Tel No. (632) 8892 0761

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!

GSK Shingrix

We are uniting science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together.