18 years old with shingles
Hello, I'm an 18 year old female who has just been diagnosed with shigles. I'm hoping someone may be able to answer some questions I have. First off, I'm very confused on how shingles is contagious...I know that if people who haven't had chickenpox come into contact with the affected area can develope chickenpox and not shigles and that you can spread the blisters around your own body if the fluid touches other parts of your skin but what happens if someone who has had chickenpox comes into contact with the blisters or something the rash has touched? Will they get an outbreak too?
Also im very paranoid about spreading the rash to my nether reagions. Sense it is a member of the herpesvirus family, if it spreads down there will it be like genital herpes and have flare ups down there for the rest of your life? I find myself nerodicly washing my hands 3 or 4 times in a row in searing hot water before using the bathroom or changing undergarments, in fear of giving myself genital singles.
Sense I have developed this at such a young age what are my chances of having pain continuing after the rash is gone? Is it less or more likely to happen? And is scarring a serious problem? My rash isn't too savear, just some medium sized blister clusters on my belly side and back. There isn't much pain either, just some moderate aching from time to time but there is a constant annoying feeling of pins and needles in the newer areas of the rash.
And lastly, how long does the virus live on objects like unwashed clothes or bed sheets?
I'm feeling really nervous and stressed out by all of this and just confused on why this has happened to me now at 18 and not later in life...
Thanks to anyone who reads this.