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Ringworm or shingles: What is Shingles? | Babylon Health

What is Shingles? | Babylon Health

Shingles is a viral infection. What makes shingles a unique infection is that the virus which causes it has been fast asleep in the body for many years before the shingles rash comes up.

The virus that causes shingles is the very same virus that will have caused chickenpox, except it decided to hang around somewhere in the body, doing nothing, just sitting in the spinal cord, only to awaken again at some point in the future.

We don’t always know what causes the varicella zoster virus to wake up and cause shingles, but a common reason is if a person’s immune system is lowered, for example by stress or a period of illness.

Read on to discover the symptoms and treatment of shingles – and speak with a doctor if you believe you may be suffering from this condition. Shingles is best treated within 3 days of the rash first appearing, so don’t delay speaking to a doctor.

The symptoms of shingles

Due to the virus settling in one part of the spinal cord, the painful blistery red rash that appears with shingles usually happens on one side of the body and along a defined strip of skin. This strip of skin is the one supplied by the nerve coming from the spinal cord where the virus has been asleep.

Before the rash appears, some people feel generally unwell and get a tingly or burning sensation over the skin.

Once the rash has gone, some can have long term nerve pain in the area where the rash was. This is called postherpetic neuralgia.

Fungal infections are highly contagious and can be transmitted from person to person very easily, but they can also be found in communal spaces. Fungus breeds well in damp, warm conditions, so places like leisure centres, swimming pools, children’s soft play areas and shared bathrooms can be full of fungus if they are not cleaned properly.

Is shingles contagious?

If someone has shingles, they can’t pass shingles on to someone else. However, because shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus, they CAN pass on chickenpox to someone that has never had chickenpox before.

If a person has shingles, they are contagious whilst they have the rash up until the blisters of the rash all crust over. This can take between 2 and 4 weeks.

As a result, people with shingles should try and stay away from anyone who might be at risk of catching chickenpox and at risk of becoming very unwell with it, for example:

  • Women who are pregnant and have never had chickenpox. (Women who are pregnant and have had chickenpox before will be immune to the virus and are not at risk.)
  • People with a weakened immune system, such as HIV/AIDS
  • Very young babies, less than a month old

How shingles is treated

Shingles is often treated with antiviral medication if you are:

  • Over the age of 50
  • Have shingles on a part of your body other than chest or back
  • Have a moderate or severe rash and/or pain

Antiviral medication can reduce the length of time someone has the rash and reduce the chances of long lasting nerve pain (postherpetic neuralgia) once the rash has gone.

Commonly prescribed antiviral medication includes aciclovir, famciclovir, and valaciclovir.

The painful rash can be soothed by applying a cool compress a few times a day or taking painkillers. You can also take painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or codeine, but check with your pharmacist or a doctor first which ones would be best for you.

If you’ve got severe pain, your doctor might prescribe medication that is specific for nerve pain, such as amitriptyline, duloxetine, gabapentin or pregabalin.,

It is also a good idea to wear loose fitting clothing over the rash to keep it covered, as this will prevent the virus from being spread to others.

A shingles vaccine is available and it reduces the chances of a person having shingles or severe shingles by about 90%. Some people might still get shingles despite having the vaccine, but it will be milder.

Shingles in pregnancy

If you develop shingles in pregnancy, you should let your doctor or midwife know. Usually shingles in pregnancy is mild and doesn’t cause problems for your unborn baby. You may need to be treated with antiviral medication, but this needs to be discussed with a specialist.

Recurrence of shingles

Shingles rarely happens more than once, but it is possible. Some people are more at risk of recurrence and this includes1:

  • Those aged over 50
  • Females
  • Having blood cancer, autoimmune disease, dyslipidemia (such as high cholesterol) or hypertension
  • Having shingles related pain that lasted longer than 30 days

Conditions that can be confused with shingles

Psoriasis can cause a burning sensation in the skin, as can shingles, however the appearance of the rash is usually very different from that of shingles. Psoriasis is typically a red and thick scaly skin rash, affecting the knees, elbows or scalp. There are variations of psoriasis however that look blistery, so if you have a new rash – it is best to run it past a doctor.

Ringworm is a fungal skin infection that looks like round red circles on the skin. It tends to look quite different from shingles, which is made up of little blisters, but early ringworm can bear some resemblance to shingles.

Hives can look like little red spots, or like large red patches. They can sting or burn too but hives happen as a result of an allergic reaction and often settle down quickly within hours or days.

Chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus and so the rash looks similar too. Shingles however occurs in people who have had chickenpox before and also affects one well defined area of the body, typically on one side, as opposed to chickenpox which usually affects the skin of the whole body.

If you’re unsure whether your rash is shingles or something else, speak to a doctor.

Ophthalmic shingles

Shingles can sometimes affect one of the nerves that supplies the eye, called the ophthalmic nerve. This can cause long lasting pain and permanent damage to the eye, so it needs urgent assessment and treatment.

If you have a shingles rash on your nose (in particular at its tip, on the sides or at the root of your nose), speak to your doctor straight away as this can be a sign that the shingles might affect your eyes too.

If you have any changes to your vision or a red eye with your shingles, let your doctor know straight away.

Complications of shingles

The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia. This is a persisting pain that continues for 90 days or more after the rash appears. It is rare in people under the age of 50.

Postherpetic neuralgia is more common as people get older2:

  • 7.4% of people aged 50-59
  • 21.2% of people aged 60-69
  • 28.6% of people aged 70-79
  • 34.4% of people aged over 80

Other complications include:

  • Changes to the skin, such as scarring or colour changes
  • Infection of the rash with bacteria may occur, needing treatment with antibiotics. (Severe infections such as necrotizing fasciitis or sepsis are rare but life threatening.)
  • Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, when herpes infects the facial nerve, causing a rash in one ear, facial drooping and problems with hearing and balance
  • Motor neuropathy, which is when the infection affects a nerve that is responsible for making a muscle move

Rare complications that are more likely to occur in people that are immunocompromised:

  • Inflammation of the brain, meninges and nerves of the head and neck
  • Spread of the reactivated virus to the lungs, liver, bowel and brain


  1. Hope-Simpson, R.E. (1975) Postherpetic neuralgia. The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 25(157), 571-575.
  2. Kim YJ, Lee CN, Lee MS, et al. Recurrence Rate of Herpes Zoster and Its Risk Factors: a Population-based Cohort Study. J Korean Med Sci. 2018;34(2):e1. Published 2018 Dec 20. doi:10.3346/jkms.2019.34.e1
  3. Shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine for adults over 50

Frequently asked questions about shingles

Can I go to work with shingles?

If you have shingles, you can give chickenpox to people that haven’t had it before. If your rash is weepy and hasn’t crusted over, you are infectious. So unless your rash is in a place where it can be covered up, it is best to stay off work until your rash has completely crusted over. Ask a doctor for advice if you aren’t sure if it is ok for you to go to work.

How long will I have to be off work with shingles?

If your rash is in a place where it can be completely covered up and you feel well in yourself, you might be ok to go to work. Speak with your doctor first. If your rash is weepy, not crusted over and in a place that can’t be covered up – it is best to stay off work and away from public places until it is all crusted over.

Can you get shingles if you have had chickenpox?

You can only get shingles if you’ve had chickenpox. Shingles is caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus which has been asleep inside your body since you caught chickenpox.

Can you fly with shingles?

Although shingles isn’t contagious, if you have shingles you can give someone chickenpox (if they haven’t had chickenpox before). If your shingles rash has crusted over and isn’t weepy, you are not infectious and can fly. However if your rash is weeping and hasn’t crusted over, you’ll need to ask the airline for advice as some airlines may not permit you to travel with shingles.

Can children get shingles?

Anyone who has had chickenpox before is at risk of shingles, including children. However shingles is rare in people under the age of 50.

Can stress cause shingles?

Yes, research has shown that stress may partially contribute to someone developing shingles. This could be because of the effects of stress on the immune system.

How long does the Shingrix vaccine last?

Shingrix is the new shingles vaccine. We know from studies that, for most people, Shingrix protects for at least 4 years, and it is likely to protect for even longer than that.

How can I get rid of shingles fast?

There is no quick way to get rid of shingles unfortunately. Antiviral medication can help reduce the length of time you have the rash and the severity too, but it needs to be started within 3 days of symptoms beginning. The best thing to do is to prevent shingles by having the vaccine.

How do you know if you have shingles?

Shingles typically looks like in the picture below. It is a red, blistery and sore or itchy rash that affects one distinct part of the body. The best way of knowing for sure if you have shingles is by speaking to a doctor.

How long is shingles contagious for?

Shingles is contagious from the moment the blistery rash appears until the last blister has fully crusted over. This can take between 2 and 4 weeks.

Is shingles serious?

No. Most of the time it isn’t. It tends to be a mild infection that is an uncomfortable nuisance in 9 out of 10 cases. However for some, it can leave long lasting nerve pain (called postherpetic neuralgia) or be very serious, for example:

  • If you get shingles in or around the eye, it can lead to loss of vision. So if someone gets a shingles-like rash around their eye or on their face, it is important that they see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Rarely shingles can cause inflammation of the brain, hearing problems or weakness in the muscles of the face
  • Severe skin infections by bacteria can happen on top of the viral rash

If you think you might be suffering from shingles, contact a doctor to discuss it.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.

What’s the Difference Between a Rash and Shingles?

Shingles or herpes zoster is an infection caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. In people who have had chickenpox in the past, the varicella-zoster virus can lie dormant for many years and then reactivate to cause shingles herpes zoster if the immune system becomes weak or stressed. Shingles is associated with a painful rash. The shingles rash has certain typical features that can help identify the condition. 

Shingles is quite common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will develop this condition at some point in their lifetime. It is more common in people above age 60 but can occur in younger individuals, including children.

Although it is not a life-threatening condition, a shingles rash can be very painful. Early diagnosis and treatment can shorten the duration of the illness and prevent complications like postherpetic neuralgia. In people who develop postherpetic neuralgia, the pain lasts well after the shingles blisters have cleared. 

How do you tell the difference between a shingles rash and a rash caused by something else? Continue reading to find out.

What does shingles feel like before the rash?

The most common symptom of shingles is a painful rash of fluid-filled blisters that appears in a band-like pattern on one side of the body. However, some people develop other symptoms before the shingles rash itself appears. These symptoms may include fever, feeling generally unwell, headache, muscle aches, and burning, tingling, numbness, or itching in the affected area. 

What does early shingles look like?

Roughly 1-5 days after the first symptoms of shingles herpes zoster appear, a characteristic rash develops, typically on the chest or torso. The shingles rash usually affects a particular area on one side of the body and does not cross over the midline. It consists of a band or stripe of fluid-filled blisters. As noted, the rash is most commonly on the chest or torso, but it can also affect the face, neck, or eyes. The painful rash is typically itchy or burning until the blisters start scabbing over in about 7-10 days. The blisters eventually become smaller and disappear. A shingles rash typically lasts 2-4 weeks in total.

What do shingles look like on the skin?

You should suspect a shingles rash if you have pain, burning, itching, numbness, or tingling in a specific part of the body, followed by the appearance of a red rash in a stripe-like pattern on the left or right side of your body. Besides the chest or torso, the rash can also occur on one side of the face or neck or around one eye. A shingles rash typically consists of blisters filled with a clear fluid. The shingles blisters break open and crust over in about a week to 10 days.  

It is not a good idea to try and diagnose a shingles rash yourself without being medically reviewed. A doctor can make an accurate diagnosis of shingles herpes zoster and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Early treatment can help reduce the severity of your symptoms and the duration of your illness as well as prevent complications.

How do you rule out shingles?

Numerous conditions can cause skin rashes. How do you tell the difference between a shingles rash and something else? Here are some common skin conditions that cause rashes and their typical features.

  • Psoriasis usually causes patches of red, scaly skin. Some types of psoriasis can cause blisters which can resemble a shingles rash. However, unlike shingles, the red, scaly rash caused by psoriasis does not fade over time. Rather, it tends to get worse and may crack and bleed.
  • An allergic reaction to a medication or exposure to something like poison ivy can cause raised or flat red sores on the skin with blisters. This rash may be confused for a shingles rash. However, allergic skin reactions tend to clear up on their own 2-3 weeks after exposure. Another type of allergic reaction called hives consists of red, bumpy, itchy, swollen areas on the skin. Again, hives tend to go away on their own.
  • Eczema is a skin condition caused by an exaggerated response of the immune system to common allergic triggers. The red, itchy, and sometimes oozing patches of skin caused by eczema can be mistaken for a rash caused by the shingles virus. Doctors usually diagnose and manage eczema by identifying the allergic triggers that cause it.
  • Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes red, scaly, itchy patches of rash on the skin. These patches can sometimes blister and mimic the skin conditions caused by shingles herpes zoster. Ringworm is contagious and spreads easily through skin-to-skin contact. A healthcare provider can diagnose and treat the condition appropriately.
  • Herpes simplex is the virus that causes cold sores. The rash caused by this virus can sometimes be mistaken for shingles. However, herpes simplex is usually localized around the mouth and genitals.

Shingles diagnosis and treatment

The band or stripe of shingles rash, which most often occurs on the chest or torso, is the easiest way to identify shingles. There is no cure for shingles, but a healthcare provider can quickly make the diagnosis and offer treatment to relieve pain and hasten your recovery time. Antiviral medications can prevent the virus from multiplying, thus reducing the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor can also give you medications to relieve the pain from the shingles rash. Applying cold compresses to the area can help as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the shingles virus can be transmitted to other people. It will not cause shingles but can potentially cause chickenpox. It is worth noting that shingles blisters are no longer contagious once they scab over and stop weeping. However, until this happens, it is important to keep the area covered when around other people.


You can prevent shingles by getting vaccinated at a health and wellness clinic. The chickenpox vaccine is routinely given to children and can help prevent shingles. Adults who have not had chickenpox can also get the vaccine. There is also a specific shingles vaccine that is recommended by the FDA for people over 50 years old. The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine in adults over 60 who have a history of chickenpox. Both the chickenpox vaccine and shingles vaccine do not guarantee that you will not get shingles. However, getting vaccinated does significantly decrease your risk of getting shingles. 


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/symptoms-causes/syc-20353054
  2. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/shingles
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/shingles/index.html
  4. https://www. everydayhealth.com/pictures/shingles-other-skin-conditions/


Lichen is an ambiguous term that combines several types of dermatoses with characteristic elements of a rash, small peeling, accompanied by skin itching.

Causes of the occurrence of lichen are still not sufficiently studied. The most likely is a viral or fungal infection against the background of reduced immunity and increased sensitization of the body. The trigger for the development of the disease is often hypothermia, chronic stress, and a recent viral infection.

Forms. There are several forms of disease. Depending on them, specialists prescribe one or another treatment. However, their clinical manifestations are similar. The patient complains of red or pink small bubbling rashes with jagged edges, serous or purulent contents of the vesicles and accompanied by intense itching come to the fore.

Pityriasis rosea (Giber’s disease) is an acute inflammatory dermatosis with a seasonal course (more often occurs in the autumn-spring period) characterized by the presence of previous symptoms (headache, fever, joint pain). Its distinguishing feature is the presence of a primary focus of oval shapes with clearly defined edges, covered with delicate scales, resembling corrugated paper. This is the so-called. “maternal” plaque. It is usually located on the chest, back, abdomen or thighs. A few days later, the same elements of the rash begin to appear all over the body, and the “mother’s” plaque shrinks and turns yellow. The disease is not contagious. Uncomplicated pink lichen does not need treatment, however, throughout the entire period of the disease, patients are strictly forbidden to wash. In some cases, to reduce itching, the doctor may prescribe antihistamines: Lomilan, Tavegil, Zirtek.

Lichen planus (Wilson’s disease) is a chronic disease that affects the skin and oral mucosa. A characteristic symptom of the disease are rashes of an indistinct form, bluish-red in color, with a waxy sheen and depression in the center. The most favorite localization is the anterior surface of the forearms, lower legs, sacrum, external genitalia. The disease is not contagious. The therapy is aimed at eliminating itching Tavegil, Lomilan, Zirtek, preventing infection. Vitamin therapy is used, treatment and prevention of diseases of the digestive tract, physiotherapy and spa treatment, etc. are mandatory. In the treatment of lichen planus, systemic corticosteroids Prednisolone, Diprospan, ointments based on corticosteroids Celestoderm, Advantan, immunomodulators – Reaferon are used.

Ringworm (trichophytosis) is a contagious disease characterized by lesions of both smooth skin and scalp, hair and nails, caused by the fungus Trichophyton. This is a highly contagious disease, which, as a rule, affects children who come into contact with a sick animal. With this disease, not only smooth skin is affected, but also the skin of the scalp, hair and nail plates. Good results are obtained by treatment with Griseofulvin.

Shingles (or herpes zoster) is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus identical to the one that causes chickenpox in children. Rashes are preceded by local subjective symptoms (itching, paresthesia, pain). The rash is located in foci, interspersed with islands of healthy skin. A characteristic feature is the location of the rashes along the nerve fiber on one of the lateral surfaces of the body in the waist area. A rash in the form of single or red spots turns into blisters within a short period of time. Valtrex or Acyclovir may be used for treatment.

Diagnostics. Diagnosis of suspected lichen is made on the basis of a patient interview, the nature of the rash, examination of the affected skin under a Wood’s lamp, and microscopic examination of skin flakes.

Treatment. Treatment for various forms of lichen may be diametrically opposed. With a huge selection of medicines and dietary supplements in the pharmacy network of the city of Yekaterinburg, it is dangerous to engage in self-treatment. This is due to the fact that some forms of lichen pass on their own, it is enough just to stop contact with water. To cure others, it is necessary to use antifungal drugs. Others are treated with vitamin therapy, immunomodulatory drugs, or alternative medicine, such as acupuncture. In addition, lichen is often associated with more serious somatic and infectious pathologies. Therefore, at the first suspicion, you should immediately consult a dermatologist.

Pankratova Evgenia Igorevna

The material is informational. Medicinal products, biologically active supplements and other products are indicated as an example of their possible use and / or application, which in no way constitutes a recommendation for their use. Before using drugs, dietary supplements and medical equipment and other products, be sure to consult a specialist.

Lichen in humans: types, infection, treatment

The word “lichen” people often mean different skin diseases, which often only remotely resemble each other. We will help you understand the different types of lichen in humans, as well as tell you how to treat them.


Helpful Hints

Skin diseases

Infectious diseases


People call lichen completely different diseases that appear on the skin in the form of red scaly spots. We explain how to distinguish them and whether it is possible to cure them at home on your own.

Contents of article

Do not self-medicate! In our articles, we collect the latest scientific data and the opinions of authoritative health experts. But remember: only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment.


Ringworm, also known as dermatophytosis, can affect both humans and animals. Initially, the infection appears as discolored, often scaly patches on the affected areas. These patches usually appear red on fair skin or brownish gray on dark skin.

Ringworm can spread from affected areas to other parts of the body, such as:

  • scalp,
  • legs,
  • hands,
  • nails,
  • groin,
  • 9 0075 beard.

Symptoms of ringworm

Symptoms of a skin infection include:

  • itching
  • round, flat areas of itchy skin,
  • patches that form blisters or pustules,
  • patches that resemble a ring with a deeper color on the outside,
  • patches with clear and raised edges,
  • overlapping rings,
  • hair loss .

On the scalp, it often begins as single scales on the scalp that develop into itchy, scaly patches on the crown of the head. This disease is most common among children. Hair around the affected area may break or fall out, and bald spots may form.


Cause of ringworm and how it is transmitted

About 40 different fungi can cause ringworm. Usually they belong to the types Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton. These fungi can live on your skin and other surfaces, especially in damp areas. They can also live in the soil as spores for a long time. Fungi can spread among people in four ways:

Person to person . You can get the infection from contact with someone who has ringworm or from sharing personal items such as combs or towels. The infection is usually spread among children and by sharing objects containing the fungus.

From animal to human . You can get ringworm after touching a sick animal or even objects that the animal has come into contact with. Cats and dogs are common sources of infection, but other animals, such as farm animals, can also spread the fungus.

From object to person . You can become infected if you come into contact with an object or surface that has fungus on it, such as a phone or the floor of a public shower. These fungi thrive in humid environments.

From soil to man . People and animals can become infected with ringworm after direct contact with soil that is a carrier of the fungus.

Ringworm risk factors

Anyone can get ringworm, but you are more likely to get it if:

  • live in a warm, humid environment or climate
  • engage in contact sports such as wrestling or football
  • use public showers or changing rooms
  • have close contact with animals
  • wear tight shoes or clothing which rubs skin,
  • have diabetes,
  • are obese or overweight,
  • sweat excessively,
  • have a weakened immune system.

Diagnosis of ringworm

The doctor will diagnose ringworm by examining the skin and possibly using a “black light” device to view the affected area in the ultraviolet spectrum. Depending on the type of fungus, it can sometimes fluoresce (glow) under a special device – a Wood’s lamp. Microbiological studies may also be required.

Ringworm treatment

Your doctor may recommend both medications and lifestyle changes for treatment:

  • creams,
  • ointments,
  • gels,
  • sprays.

Some severe cases can be treated with oral medications such as tablets and capsules.

Lifestyle adjustments

In addition to prescription and over-the-counter medications, your doctor may recommend that you treat your infection at home:

  1. wash bedding and clothing daily to help disinfect the environment,
  2. dry skin thoroughly after bathing,
  3. wear loose clothing on affected areas.

Home remedies for ringworm

People used home remedies for ringworm for many years before scientists invented antifungal drugs.

Note that there is no scientific evidence to support their use. Home remedies should not be used in place of known antifungal medications. Instead, talk to your doctor about any remedies you would like to try, along with proven treatments.

These products include:

Apple cider vinegar. Some people apply cotton balls soaked in apple cider vinegar to the affected skin three times a day to treat ringworm.

Coconut oil . People apply coconut oil to their skin to reduce the incidence of ringworm infections. If you want to try this remedy, apply coconut oil one to three times a day.

Turmeric . You can mix this common spice with water to make an antifungal paste. Apply the paste directly to the skin and let it dry.

Essential oils : oregano, lemongrass, tea tree. These oils can be potent, so they must be diluted with a carrier oil such as olive, sunflower, or corn before applying the mixture to the skin.

Lichen versicolor

To be precise, it is called pityriasis versicolor or versicolor. This is a fungal disease, but not contagious. The fungus that provokes the development of lichen lives on the surface of the epithelium of any person, but with a genetic predisposition and under the influence of provocateurs, it forms rashes.

Fungi infect hair follicles and epithelium, multiplying and forming yellow-brown, red spots up to 10 mm in diameter. The edges of the elements have a “lace” look. The surface of the elements peels off, it seems that they are sprinkled with bran – hence the name. Spots can merge with each other without treatment, forming elements up to 10-20 cm. Under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, they disappear, leaving behind non-tanned areas, in contrast to the next type of skin diseases – lichen planus, which, on the contrary, enhances pigmentation.


As in the case of ringworm, the effectiveness of medically proven only for a number of approved drugs in the form of ointments, creams and others.

What is lichen planus?

Lichen planus is a relatively common inflammatory disease that affects the skin and/or oral cavity, resulting in characteristic lesions of the skin and/or oral cavity. It is also called parapsoriasis because it shares some of the same symptoms as psoriasis.

There seems to be a link between the oral and dermal forms. Almost half of patients with the oral form also have skin lesions. The onset of the disease may be gradual or rapid, but the exact cause of the inflammation leading to lichen erythematosus is not yet fully understood. It is important to note that lichen itself is not an infectious disease, so this disease is not transmitted from one person to another in any way.

Who gets lichen erythematosus?

This type of lichen affects about one percent of the population: the cutaneous variant affects men and women equally, and oral lichen affects women twice as often as men. Although it can occur at any age, it usually affects middle-aged adults. It is rare in young and old people.

What are the signs and symptoms of lichen planus?

The disease manifests itself in the form of small, flat bumps of red-violet color, round or irregular in shape. A person may have only a few small “pimples”. On closer inspection, you can see white scales or flakes on them.

Lichen planus causes itching that varies from mild to severe in different people. Sometimes the bumps do not itch, but this is a rare case.

The disease can appear anywhere on the skin. The most common areas are the inside of the wrists, forearms, and ankles. It can also affect the scalp or nails. On the scalp, it can cause redness, irritation and, in some cases, hair loss.

Sometimes the disease affects areas of the skin where there has been an injury, such as a superficial scratch, cut, or burn. Can lead to brittle or splitting of the nails, with affected nails may have longitudinal ridges.

In the mouth, lichen appears as lacy white patches on the inside of the cheeks or on the tongue. Oral lesions usually do not cause symptoms, although severe flare-ups can cause painful sores and sores that make eating and drinking difficult.

Ringworm can affect the female genital organs, including the vagina. On the vulva or in the vagina, it may appear as bright red spots or sores. This condition can be confused with sexually transmitted diseases, although lichen is not sexually transmitted and is not contagious, as mentioned above. Genital lichen usually causes no symptoms, but open sores can be quite painful.

What causes lichen planus?

In most cases, the cause of parapsoriasis cannot be found. It is not caused by stress, but sometimes emotional stress makes the condition worse. It is believed that lichen planus is caused by an autoimmune reaction caused by T-lymphocytes.

1. The disease can be triggered by taking drugs:

  • beta-blockers,
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors;

In the case of drug origin, it is called lichenoid toxidermia

2. This disease is known to occur after contact with certain chemicals, such as those used to develop color photographs.

3. Some cases of lichen planus may be associated with chronic infection, particularly hepatitis C virus.

4. People with lichen planus in the mouth may be allergic to certain products used during dental procedures, such as amalgam fillings .

How is lichen planus diagnosed?

The diagnosis of lichen planus is often made by a dermatologist, maxillofacial surgeon or dentist based on typical clinical presentations. A skin biopsy may be required to confirm the diagnosis.

How is this lichen treated?

In most cases, the bumps go away without any treatment in about a year. However, treatment can improve the appearance of your skin. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and speed up the healing of skin lesions. If symptoms are mild, treatment may not be required.

There is no cure for lichen, but therapy is often effective in relieving itching and improving the appearance of the rash until it clears up. Ringworm of the scalp must be treated immediately, otherwise the hair on the affected area may never grow back.

  • Topical corticosteroids are very useful.
  • Antihistamines may be given to relieve itching.
  • Ultraviolet light therapy (also called PUVA) may be helpful in some cases.
  • So-called immunomodulatory drugs help some patients with oral and genital lichen.
  • Other treatment options include retinoids (a form of vitamin A), phototherapy.

What is the long term outlook for lichen planus?

In general, ringworm is not a dangerous or fatal disease. Usually, over time, it goes away on its own, but it can persist for a long time, calculated in years, and this depends on the individual patient.

After healing, lichen often leaves pigment spots on the skin. Like the bumps themselves, these spots may disappear over time without treatment. When the oral mucosa is affected by lichen planus, the risk of developing oral cancer is slightly increased.

Home treatment

One of the most common treatments is tar soap. They soap the affected area and keep it under the film for 10 minutes. Then wash it off. Thanks to this method, the scales are easier to exfoliate.

We also remind you that you should not abuse it, and before applying it to the area where the disease has developed, test it on healthy skin. Cases of an allergic reaction to tar soap are quite rare, but this option cannot be ruled out. In addition, it is worth remembering that this remedy dries the skin, so after the procedure it is advisable to smear it with a baby cream.


This is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can appear anywhere on the body, it most often appears as a single band of blisters that girdles the left or right side of the torso.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After suffering from chickenpox, the virus is in an inactive state in the nervous tissue near the spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus can reactivate in the form of shingles.

Shingles is not life-threatening, but it can be very painful. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of getting shingles. Early treatment can help shorten the duration of a shingles infection and reduce the chance of complications. The most common complication is postherpetic neuralgia, which causes shingles pain for a long time after the blisters have cleared.


Signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small area on one side of the body. These signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever, headache.
  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling.
  • Touch sensitive.
  • Red rash that appears a few days after the pain.
  • Fluid-filled blisters that rupture and crust like cold sores on the face.

Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. For some, it can be very strong. Depending on the location of the pain, it can sometimes be mistaken for a symptom of problems with the heart, lungs or kidneys.