Can Chronic Stress Trigger a Shingles Outbreak?

chronic stress and shingles

Herpes zoster, or shingles, is a very common type of viral infection, characterized by painful rash, often accompanied by blisters. If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you’re at a very high risk for getting shingles, since these two are both triggered by the Varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

So is there really a connection between chronic stress and shingles?

Shingles and Stress?

Aside from VZV, are there any other triggers which can bring up a shingles outbreak. Stress is something every human being deals with, and it can be held responsible for various medical conditions. It may seriously impact the way you feel, and it can affect your immune system.

According to several studies, daily stress can be one of the risk factors for shingles. It usually gets combined with other common risk factors which mainly affect your immune system. These may include mood disorders, poor diet, and old age.

On the other hand, a study which examined almost 40,000 people didn’t find any connection between shingles and chronic stress.

How to Treat Shingles

Whether it’s stress-induced or not, shingles can’t be treated with a prescription drug. Since there is no particular cure, you need to keep your stress levels down and get as much rest as you can. As to the rash, just keep it covered and wash your hands often because you could give someone chickenpox.

The Final Word

No, chronic stress and shingles aren’t really connected. At the same time, however, you should not ignore the correlation between these two. If you’ve had chickenpox before, you need to be extra careful in keeping your stress levels really low.