Can You Have Shingles Twice? We Discuss

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Shingles is a very common skin condition and it’s estimated that about one in four people in this country will suffer from it at least once in their lives. While the consequences aren’t that severe, shingles can be fatal to people over a certain age, which is why getting the vaccine is so important even if you’ve had shingles before. If you’re wondering why you need to get a shot for something that you think you can’t get twice, you should know that this is largely a myth as it’s possible to get shingles more than once. Let’s take a closer look at the facts about shingles and whether you should worry about getting it twice.

What are Shingles Actually?

Shingles is known under different names like zoster or herpes zoster and is a skin rash that can go from moderately to intensely painful. Shingles is derived from the varicella virus and is also related to the chickenpox virus. This is why shingles and chickenpox will behave the same way sometimes. Like with chickenpox, there is a very small chance that you will get shingles more than once because the virus will remain dormant in the body and your immune system will form a defence against it. You should also know that a chickenpox infection could mutate into shingles later on. If you want to know more about shingles and how it spreads, we suggest you check out Patient. They explain the symptoms you can expect, how to treat shingles, and what causes it. They also explain the different treatment options that are open to you.

Can You Get Shingles Twice?

Absolutely, though it is very rare. As we just mentioned, you should form immunity against the virus after you get it, but there are cases where people will get infected twice, even three times in their lifetimes. One of the reasons why some people will get an infection more than once is because they had a depleted immune system when they had their first reaction. This means that the body was not able to create strong enough immunity to wane off subsequent infections. People who were taking immunosuppressive drugs when they were first infected are also more likely to get shingles multiple times during their lifetime.

Who Should Take the Shingles Vaccine?

The shingles vaccine is available to everyone between the age of 70 to 79 in this country, and we strongly suggest that you get it even if you think the chances of getting shingles again are slim to none. This is because of the possibly disastrous consequences of not taking it. Shingles hit people in the 70 to 79 age group particularly hard and the rash they experience because of the disease can get so painful that they can barely handle wearing clothes. And, as we mentioned earlier, shingles can get fatal when people get it around that age. So, this isn’t something you should take lightly. If you’re wary about the vaccine we suggest you sit down with a medical professional and learn more about the risks and how different vaccines act.

Now that you know more about shingles, you can start looking at ways to prevent getting it more than once. If you have any questions, please get in contact with a physician today, and don’t be afraid to let them know about your concerns.