Shingles In Children

Shingles in Children- Causes and Treatment

Shingles in children is pretty rare. Shingles characteristically appears in adults. Some times, however, shingles appears in children too. This article focuses on some of the causes and treatment.

Shingles is a rather painful condition. The main symptom of shingles would be the appearance of a painful rash on a side or a part of one’s body. The virus that causes shingles is the same virus that causes chicken pox. This virus is the varicella zoster virus. Chicken pox can erupt twice in children. The second time a child gets chicken pox is known as shingles. As it is chicken pox twice, there is usually quite some time between the first and second eruption. As a result, shingles usually affects adults. However, shingles in children is not uncommon as well. Around five percent of chicken pox cases might be affected by shingles in their childhood.

With shingles, the virus is found dormant residing in the nervous system. It can get reactivated any time if the conditions are right. It is usually the children with weak immune system that are infected by shingles. It is usually children of age more than three years who suffer from this condition. The chances of a child contracting shingles would increase if he or she had suffered from chicken pox before one year of age. It would also increase if the mother has had chicken pox during pregnancy.

The virus that causes shingles in adults is the same that causes shingles in children. Lying dormant in the nervous system, factors not known reactivates the virus resulting in shingles in children. The rash and the condition itself are very painful. Though, shingles in adults is supposed to hurt a lot more than shingles in children, there will be a considerable amount of pain.

Shingles in children usually shows up as rashes on the back chest or abdomen. The rash tends to appear on just one side of the body. This is due to the fact that the virus affects the nervous system. The rash follows the path of the infected nerves. The rash appears as small blisters or bumps, an angry red in colour. Over time, these blisters will be filled with fluid, and after some time will dry out to form hard clusters.

Children might not experience some of the more common symptoms such as a fever or nausea. The new rashes that erupt can be seen for many days. It will take a time period of around ten days for the rash to completely dry up. It might cause some other medical complications affecting the face, nose and even eyes. Such complications have to be treated immediately. Medical intervention is necessary.

Shingles in children can be treated with any kind of pain medication. However, the most common pain medication, aspirin is not supposed to be used to treat shingles. It is best if the child stayed home while the rash is still fresh and is not completely dried out. The child must also be encouraged to not touch or scratch the rash. Shingles in children is not contagious and does not spread from child to child. However, shingles is different from chicken pox, even if it is caused by the same virus. This virus can be transmitted and the child can transmit chicken pox to other children. Getting the child vaccinated for chicken pox will not prevent shingles. Medical attention should be sought for if the rash does not clear after ten to fourteen days.

Some autoimmune drugs such as azathioprine, chlorambucil, cyclophosphamide and cyclosporine are known to be able to cause an outbreak of shingles. These medicines are also used with organ transplants. These drugs are also used to cure various, common diseases. These include diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.