Symptoms Of Shingles Seniors Should Watch Out For
Seniors have a high risk of developing shingles, a painful skin rash that can cause serious medical problems. Seniors are often advised to get a vaccination that may help protect them from shingles. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox in children. And like children seniors can develop serious skin infections and other problems related to shingles.
Seniors who get shingles may be in pain and struggling to get rid of the virus for a long time. In-home care can help seniors who are affected by shingles by helping with things like meals and housecleaning. And in-home care can help seniors make sure they don’t develop skin infections or conditions related to shingles. Seniors should know these symptoms of shingles and get to their doctor immediately if they notice any of these symptoms:
Pain and Tingling Sensations
Shingles typically begins with localized pain, tingling, or burning sensations in a specific area of the body. These sensations often appear on one side of the body and can be intense. Seniors may notice these symptoms even before the rash appears. If seniors do notice pain and tingling in their face, hands, or another part of the body they should make a doctor’s appointment right away.
Within a few days of experiencing pain and tingling, a rash develops in the affected area. This rash consists of small, fluid-filled blisters that are often grouped together. The rash can be itchy and can occur anywhere on the body but typically follows a dermatomal pattern, meaning it appears along the path of a specific nerve. Any time a senior develops a rash they should see a doctor. It’s very easy for rashes to lead to skin infections if seniors scratch at the rash or if the blisters pop exposing the skin to germs.
Redness and Swelling
The rash is accompanied by redness and swelling in the affected area. The skin may become inflamed and warm to the touch. Home remedies like an oatmeal paste may help alleviate any redness or soreness.
The fluid-filled blisters that make up the shingles rash can be painful and sensitive. Over the course of several days, these blisters may rupture, ooze, and form crusts as they begin to heal. Never pop blisters. Seek medical treatment immediately to make sure they don’t become infected.
The rash and blisters associated with shingles can be intensely itchy, leading to discomfort for seniors. Home remedies and anti-itch creams can help seniors avoid the temptation to scratch their skin.
Fever and Chills
Some seniors may develop a low-grade fever and experience chills when they have shingles. These systemic symptoms are often accompanied by fatigue.
Seniors with shingles may experience headaches, which can be attributed to the overall discomfort and stress associated with the infection.
Sensitivity to Touch
The affected area may become sensitive to touch, and clothing or even a gentle breeze can exacerbate discomfort.
Muscle pain, especially in the area surrounding the rash, can be another symptom of shingles in older adults.
Nausea and Upset Stomach
Some seniors may experience gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea.