Patients often ask me where their verruca came from. However, it can cause recurrent painful sores and can be severe for people with suppressed immune systems. This age discrepancy is thought to be due to the gradual weakening of the immune system with age, a process called immunosenescence (Weaver 2009; Levin 2010). In all cases HSV is never removed from the body by the immune system . But having chickenpox does not guarantee that you will have shingles later in life. Verrucas whilst common enough are not floridly lurking beneath the feet of every sportsman, woman and child who uses a public sports facilities. Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection.
For HSV-1 infection, there are no specific risk factors aside from increasing age, as the ubiquity of this virus means many will become infected; the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that 62% of Americans are infected by the time they reach adolescence and that 85% of Americans in their 60s have contracted the virus (Ehrlic 2011a). Most indications are that an HSV-2 infection contracted prior to HSV-1 seroconversion will also immunize that person against HSV-1 infection. As the virus multiplies in the sensory nerve clusters that alert your brain to pain and temperature, it spreads down your nerves to your skin and causes the painful rash. A virus is clever. Prolonged herpes outbreaks may be a sign of a weakened immune system. Women have a higher risk of becoming infected with HSV-2 as a result of an unprotected sexual encounter than men (Ehrlic 2011a; Albrecht 2012b). Scientists also speculate that exposure to children with chickenpox boosts immunity and prevents virus reactivation, and some older people may lack that exposure.
If you have shingles, or think you do, you may want to see your doctor. In order to comprehensively destroy a verruca you’re treatment of choice has to destroy every single infected cell within the wart. People with immature or suppressed immune systems, such as newborns, transplant recipients, or people with AIDS, are prone to severe complications from HSV infections. Babies are susceptible to many infections because their immune systems are immature. If a mother gets chickenpox at the very end of her pregnancy, the child may be born with chickenpox or develop it within a few days. These babies are more likely to develop shingles as children. But in my honest opinion, it was her immunity and not just the rotting skin of a banana (thuja) that did the trick.
In people with compromised immune systems, including people with HIV and AIDS, the herpes sores can last longer than a month. But when you have a weakened immune system, you are more likely to be susceptible to the infection. The elderly, newborns, patients with certain diseases and those taking specific medications are all more likely to develop shingles.