Is Shingles the Same as a Herpes Rash?

Is shingles an STD? Shingles belong to the same group as herpes, but it’s a different virus. Therefore, shingles is not a sexually transmitted infection. The virus that causes the shingles infection is known as the varicella-zoster virus. Just like herpes, the virus can stay in your system for years before it rejuvenates as shingles.

Did you know the virus that causes chickenpox is the virus that brings about shingles? Shingles are symbolized by red skin rashes that cause pain and a burning sensation. They appear on one side of the body as stripes of blisters, mainly on the face or the neck.

In most cases, with proper medication, shingles disappear in 14 to 21 days. Just like chickenpox, shingles cannot repeatedly occur to the same individual. According to research, 1 in 4 individuals has the probability of contracting the disease at least once in their life.

Shingles Symptoms

This is how you know you have contracted the shingles infection. You first feel pain with a burning sensation. Mainly, the pain is concentrated on one side of the body. This appears with red rashes.

The rash features include red marks, blisters filled with fluids. They can easily break, wraps on the neck and torso area. Rushes also form around the ears and the face, accompanied by an itching sensation. Some people may experience different symptoms like headaches, fever, fatigue, chills, and muscle weakness.

Treatment and Medication

According to research, there is no specific cure for shingles infection. Since the disease attacks the nervous system, it is best if treated as early as possible to help reduce the risks, thus speeding up the recovery rate. You should seek proper treatment in less than 72 hrs after developing any symptom.

After consulting a doctor, they may prescribe the proper medication to help ease the pain and shorten the infection period. Here is some of the best ointment for shingles or medication:

  • Zostrix is one of shingles ointments that is extracted from pepper. It helps in reducing the itching.
  • Antihistamines are shingles ointment. Some can be applied on the skin, and others orally.
  • An antiviral medicine that is taken orally helps reduce the pain and speeds up the recovery rate.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs as they help to reduce the swelling and the itchiness
  • Lidocaine is one of the best ointments for shingles. It helps to reduce the pain.

Causes of Shingles

As we have read, shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This virus can also cause chickenpox. According to research, you can contract shingles when the virus re-activates even after contracting chickenpox.

The main reason for contracting shingles in most people is uncertain. Shingles infection is most familiar with older people 55 -6o years because they have low immunity to diseases.

The possible reasons for contracting shingles are a weak immune system, old age, undertaking necessary surgery or cancer therapy treatments, and emotional distress.


Apart from the shingles ointment, we have a vaccine that prevents you from contracting the disease or having severe symptoms. All children should receive two immunization doses of the chickenpox vaccine. Any adult who has never contracted chickenpox should seek the vaccine.

These two vaccines are Zostavax and Shingrix. Getting the vaccine does not necessarily mean you cannot contract shingles or the chickenpox infection, but in most cases, it prevents 8 out of 10 people who get immunized.

What is Herpes Rash?

Unlike shingles, herpes is a sexually transmitted infection. This infection brings about excruciating sores. According to research, 15% of people between the ages of 15 and 50 live with this infection.

The simplex virus causes genital herpes. There are two categories of herpes, well-known as HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 brings about cold sores, while HSV-2 brings about genital herpes. This virus enters your body through the mucous membrane found in the mouth and genitals.

The virus can be found in saliva, semen, and vaginal secretion. Once the virus gets into your body cells, it tends to multiply and adapt to your body quickly. This makes it hard to treat the infection.

Treatment and Medication

Treatment for this infection can only reduce the outbreak but, it treats the simplex virus. It means that generally, herpes has no cure. These antiviral drugs help to accelerate the healing rate of the sores and help to subside the pain. One should start medication immediately after noticing initial signs.

The only way to avoid contracting herpes is by practicing safe sex. Researchers are still working on getting a cure for the herpes infection. Always ensure to use the best ointment for shingles to avoid pain and itching. Finally, ensure to visit a doctor more often for checkups to avoid late treatment.

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