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British Pop Legend Relays His Struggles With Shingles

RM Shingles

With a spot in Britain’s Hall of Fame, Sir Cliff Richard has enjoyed a pop music and film career that has spanned 70 years; however, his life has had its ups and downs. revealed that after false sexual assault allegations he experienced in 2014, the entire situation took a toll on his health. At the age of 78, Richard recently spoke to the media about suffering from shingles a mere six months after the entire situation unfolded, with the infection hitting his face and head. Needless to say, it was a painful and difficult situation for the artist.

As per the NHS, those who have chickenpox during childhood might suffer from shingles later in life. The varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox remains inactive within a person’s nervous system, but can reactive when a person is older. While there is no known reason why the virus does surface once again, a majority of cases are thought to be caused by decreased immunity within one’s body. As emotional and physical stress can reduce immunity in an individual, Sir Cliff Richards getting shingles within six months of the false allegations’ scandal could be a major reason why this happened to him.

The main symptom of shingles is pain, with a rash that can turn into sore and itchy blisters, similar to chickenpox. New blisters can pop up for about seven days; however, as the days pass, these do become yellow (in color), dry and flatten out. Scabs can form, with the pain being constant, creating a burning or dull sensation. Some shingles patients can report mild discomfort, while others feel a very severe pain. The rash can take about a month to heal, and the region affected by the condition can be painful for weeks after the rash has disappeared, but does settle as time goes by.

For some, early signs of shingles can occur some days prior to the rash appearing, and they include:

  • Burning or tingling, sometimes itchiness or numbness on the skin before the rash develops
  • Headache
  • General feeling of malaise
  • Fever

While shingles generally develop on the stomach or chest, like in Richard’s case, it can appear on the face. The condition can also form on one’s eyes and genitals.

While shingles is not contagious, it’s important to stay away from certain groups of people if you do have the illness, as those who have not yet gotten chickenpox could catch that condition via someone who has shingles, if they have never had it before.