Shingles compared with eczema, differences in symptoms, causes and treatments

Shingles compared with eczema, differences in symptoms, causes and treatments ; Home skin Health shingles against eczema, differences in symptoms, causes and treatments

by: Dr. Victor Marchione | Skin Health | Thursday, June 23, 2016 – 15:30


Shingles vs. eczema shingles and eczema are skin diseases that can cause a similar appearance rash and inflammation of the skin. Knowing the differences between the two can help in the correct diagnosis because both require specific treatment.

Shingles is a painful rash that frequently occurs among older people. It is caused by the herpes zoster virus and can appear anywhere on the body. Shingles is a treatable disease, and there is even a vaccine available for risk groups in order to reduce risk. It is important that the shingles are detected early because it can lead to serious health complications.

Eczema refers to a condition of non-contagious skin, which causes the skin to become inflamed, red, dry and itchy. The exact cause is not known well, but there are many factors that can trigger its onset.

Here we describe the symptoms, causes and treatments for herpes zoster and eczema both to help detect these conditions and understand how to treat them.

Shingles against eczema: US prevalence

Approximately 31.6 million Americans have eczema, with 17.8 million living with severe eczema. The prevalence of eczema can vary from 10.7 to 21 percent across the US, depending on the state.

One in three Americans will develop shingles in his life, and the risk of shingles increases after age 50. Approximately four percent of shingles patients will be hospitalized for complications related to shingles. These individuals tend to have weakened immune systems.

Ninety-six people die annually from shingles, and deaths are common among older patients or people with weakened immune systems. There has been a constant slope of cases of shingles, although the reason behind this trend is clear. One theory suggests that fewer people are exposed to the virus due to the decrease in cases of chickenpox. As a result, fewer people are building immunity against it.

Comparison of shingles and eczema: Signs and symptoms

Causes and symptoms of eczema and psoriasis Signs and symptoms of eczema include dry, sensitive skin, intense itching, skin redness and inflammation, recurring eruptions, scaly patches, leather patches raw, oozing and crusting of the skin, areas of inflammation, and dark patches on the skin.

The symptoms of shingles include pain, burning, numbness or tingling of the skin, tenderness, a red rash followed by days of pain, fluid-filled blisters that burst and form crusts and itching. Some patients may experience fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.

You should see a doctor immediately if the rash of herpes is near the eyes, as it can lead to permanent eye damage if you are over 70, if you have a weakened immune system, or if the rash is widespread and painful.

difference between the shingles and eczema causes

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you have already had chickenpox, there is an increased risk of getting shingles later in life. Although he has recovered from chickenpox, the virus may lie dormant and remain in the nervous system. Over the years, the virus can reactivate and present itself as herpes zoster.

The reason why the varicella zoster virus reactivates is unclear and may have to do with aging and a weakened immune system, therefore, the prevalence of shingles in adults elderly.

The exact cause of eczema is unknown. Since often resembles an allergy, researchers believe that environmental factors can trigger the disease. A combination of factors can come into play with respect to the cause of eczema, including genetics, abnormal functioning of the immune system, environment, activities that make the skin more sensitive and defects in the skin barrier allowing moisture and germs.

Eczema has been found that in families, so heredity may be a factor contirbuting. It is also more common in patients with asthma and allergy sufferers.

Are the shingles and eczema contagious?

skin disorder Shingles is highly contagious to those who are not immune to the virus. Shingles can be spread through direct contact with the sores, but a person who contracted shingles from an affected person will develop chickenpox, not shingles.

If you have tiles, in order to reduce transmission of herpes to others, ensure the eruption is well covered, avoid scratching and touching the rash, wash hands frequently and avoid contact with people at risk, such as pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, individuals undergoing cancer treatment, and premature or low birth weight babies.

Eczema, however, is not contagious and can not be transmitted from one person to another. It is important to note if the rash is infected then the infection is contagious.

Eczema against herpes zoster: Risk factors and complications

Risk factors for shingles include being older than 50, who have certain diseases, especially those that weaken the immune system such as HIV, cancer treatment, and taking certain medications, such as steroids or drugs that prevent transplant organs being rejected.

If untreated, shingles can lead to complications such as herpetic post neuralgia where the pain persists long after the shingles has cleared, vision loss if the eruption is near eye, neurological problems, facial paralysis, hearing or balance problems and skin infections.

Risk factors for eczema include genetic factors – such as having parents who suffer from allergies, asthma and hay fever, environmental factors – such as skin irritants, temperature extremes, and lack of moisture after bathing and medical conditions – such as asthma and allergies. Other risk groups include infants as most cases of eczema occurs within the first year of life, and overweight people, because obesity can worsen eczema.

Complications associated with eczema include asthma and hay fever, itchy skin and chronic scaly, skin infections, dermatitis of the irritant hands, allergic contact dermatitis, sleep disorders, behavioral problems and eye problems such as irrigation, itchy eyes and inflammation of the eyelid.

Differentiation of shingles and eczema: Diagnosis and treatment

Memory-loss-symptoms-go-unreported-to-doctors-by-older-adult-patients Herpes zoster is diagnosed by examining the history of pain on one side of the body and the appearance of a rash and blisters. Your doctor may take tissue samples from the blisters for laboratory examination to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of shingles is done with prescribed antiviral medications, including acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir. Along with antivirals, the doctor may recommend other treatments to relieve symptoms such as capsaicin cream, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, anesthetic agents, drugs containing narcotic drugs and corticosteroid injections.

Eczema is easily recognizable, so after examining the eruption and the review of the medical history of the patient, a doctor will be able to diagnose eczema. The doctor may do some tests to make sure it is not another condition.

may take several different treatments to adequately treat eczema, as the rash can be persistent. While it is detected early, treatment can begin immediately. Some treatments for eczema include creams for itching and inflammation, creams for skin repair, drugs to fight infections, oral anti itching, and oral or injected drugs to control inflammation.

Some therapies for the treatment of eczema include wet dressings, light therapy, stress management and relaxation as well as behavior modification, or biofeedback, which can help treat habitual scratching.

If you have eczema, also want to avoid skin irritants such as perfumes or wool, avoid extreme temperatures, and the use of lotions and oils regularly to keep your skin moist.

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-common-adult-skin-problems
https://nationaleczema.org/research/eczema-prevalence/
http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/surveillance.html
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https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/symptoms/
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