Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dermatologists Link Family History To Shingles Susceptibility

Date:
May 22, 2008
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Summary:
Researchers have identified family history as one reason why some people might be more susceptible to shingles, a severe skin condition. Shingles, or Herpes Zoster, is a burning, painful, itchy skin rash with blisters that can last up to five weeks and pain that can last months to years. Nearly 1 million shingles cases are diagnosed each year in the United States.

Researchers at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston have identified family history as one reason why some people might be more susceptible to shingles, a severe skin condition.

Related Articles


Shingles, or Herpes Zoster, is a burning, painful, itchy skin rash with blisters that can last up to five weeks and pain that can last months to years. Nearly 1 million shingles cases are diagnosed each year in the United States.

The more relatives you know of who have experienced an outbreak of shingles, the higher your risk, according to Stephen Tyring, M.D., Ph.D., clinical professor in the Department of Dermatology at the UT Medical School at Houston. "If just one blood relative has had shingles, you should get vaccinated. Your risk is double that of someone who has had no relatives with the virus. The estimate, however, is most valid for first degree relatives such as a mother, father or sibling."

Researchers at The Center for Clinical Studies, an outpatient clinic in Houston, examined 1,027 patients treated between 1992 and 2005. Of the more than 500 patients with shingles, 39 percent reported knowing of a blood relative who had suffered from shingles. In contrast, only 11 percent of age, sex, race-matched patients who had never had shingles knew of any blood relative who had shingles in the past.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus. Patients must have had chickenpox to get an outbreak of shingles. The virus is not eliminated from the body after an episode of chickenpox has ended.

"The virus lies dormant in your system until you have an accident, dental work, physical/emotional stress or your immune system is suppressed by a disease or virus. They can all be triggers that lead to a shingles outbreak," said Tyring, a co-author of the new study. Twenty percent of people who have had chickenpox will go on to have shingles.

People are less likely to get shingles if they have had the chickenpox vaccine, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1995.

Tyring, who was an investigator of the shingles vaccine, recommends the shingles vaccination for those with a family history. The shingles vaccine was approved for patients over 60 in 2006, and is now being studied in patients as young as 50 years of age.

In 25 to 50 percent of people older than 50, shingles pain can linger for months, or years, long after the rash and blisters have gone away -- a condition called post-herpetic neuralgia.

The lead author of the study is Lindsey D. Hicks, a graduating senior at the UT Medical School at Houston. With Tyring, other co-authors at the UT Medical School at Houston include: Vandana Madkan, M.D., and Anita Arora, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arch Dermatol. 2008;144[5]:603-608

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "Dermatologists Link Family History To Shingles Susceptibility." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519165945.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. (2008, May 22). Dermatologists Link Family History To Shingles Susceptibility. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519165945.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "Dermatologists Link Family History To Shingles Susceptibility." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519165945.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins