Shingles is a viral illness caused by the varicella zoster virus. This virus causes chicken pox. Once a person has chicken pox, the virus remains in her body. When this virus erupts at a later date, it causes shingles. Some people can go their whole lives without getting shingles. If you do get shingles, you will recognize them by their rash. This rash is in the form of tiny blisters that are quite painful. The rash only shows up in one area on one side of the body.
Stay away from people who have chicken pox if you have never gotten chicken pox. You cannot get shingles if you have never gotten chicken pox. So to prevent shingles you must keep yourself from getting chicken pox.
Get a vaccine to prevent yourself from getting chicken pox. This is a smart idea for those who are young or elderly who have never gotten the disease. This will help to ensure that they don't contract it in the future even if they are around someone who has the chicken pox.
Wash your hands often if you have shingles yourself. You can spread shingles to other parts of your body, although this is rare. Hand washing is the best way to avoid spreading shingles.
Cover up the area of your body that has shingles with a bandage. This is necessary if you go out in public. You will not be able to spread shingles to other people, but someone who has never gotten chicken pox can catch chicken pox if he comes in contact with your shingles. Since the shingles must be physically touched, you can avoid any accidents by simply covering up the shingles with a bandage.
When your shingles begin to turn in to scabs, they are no longer contagious to yourself or anyone else. You won't have to keep them covered once this occurs.
Shingles can clear up on their own, but they are very painful. You don't have to suffer for the two to four weeks it can take to heal from them. Your doctor can prescribe one of several medications to help.