The Bachelorette’s Ali Fedotowsky-Manno has revealed she has shingles in a candid Instagram post detailing her diagnosis.
The reality star, who sought love on the dating competition in 2010 after a stint on Jake Pavelka’s season of The Bachelor, explained that she was hiding her face on Instagram over the last week because she was diagnosed with shingles, a condition that, among other things, causes red lesions on the skin.
“I don’t really know why I wanted to hide it,” Fedotowsky-Manno, who is 36, wrote in a post alongside several photos and videos revealing red bumps on her face. “I think it’s mostly because I didn’t want the added stress or pressure of the Internet while I was trying to rest and heal. In fact, stress is likely the reason I got #shingles. I’m sharing now because I hope my story will help others detect it early. I didn’t even think it was possible to get it at my age.”
The Bachelor Nation alum described shingles as a “painful neurological condition that usually affects seniors.”
“It’s relatively common for people in their 60s and that’s why people are vaccinated against it if they’re 50 or older,” she continued. “But based on my DM‘s, I’m realizing it’s getting more and more common in younger people.”
She added that she is “looking into” why she may have gotten shingles, and noted that a “weakened immune system” and “stress” can trigger the development of the condition.
“I just wanted to share because early detection is key in hopefully lessening the severity and duration of shingles,” the mom of two wrote. “The very first video you’ll see in this carousel is one I sent to my dermatologist @drjenniferlee the day after I noticed my forehead feeling a little itchy & tingly. I remember I kept itching my head and felt this electricity underneath my skin (my nerves acting up). So I sent her a text and she immediately FaceTimed me.”
Fedotowsky-Manno added that she’s “grateful” for the early diagnosis, which came “days before I had multiple spots that ended up causing swelling and blurred vision in my eye.” The quick detection allowed her to get on medication early before the condition progressed.
“So needless to say, I’m trying to limit the stress in my life and hoping my vision clears up,” she concluded. “Today the swelling is down a lot so I’m grateful for that! I plan to do a blog post next week detailing what happened on a day-by-day basis to hopefully help others who are frantically googling ‘shingles in your 30’s’ out there right now and not finding much information.”
Several people in Fedotowsky-Manno’s comment sections shared a similar experience.
Blogger Sarah Nicole Landry wrote, “SWEETIE!! I had shingles last year!! for the SECOND TIME! Stress induced shingles is on the rise!! We need to talk about it.”
The Bachelor’s Sarah Herron added, “I soooo sorry! Dylan had shingles a couple summers ago at 32! It’s painful, I’m sorry you’re going through it.”
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Typically, it affects people as chickenpox, which is highly contagious and affects 95 percent of people before the age of 18, according to the National Shingles Foundation. Anyone who has had chickenpox can potentially get shingles, though it’s not exactly known what causes a reemergence of the virus. As Fedotowsky-Manno stated, stress and a weakened immune system are trigger factors.
In addition to the rash — which can occasionally go unnoticed — other symptoms of shingles include flu-like symptoms such as a fever, headache, chills and nausea. Burning or shooting pain, numbness, tingling or itching is also common.
Fortunately, shingles is treatable with antiviral medications, which work most effectively when taken with 72 hours of the rash emerging. Thanks to early diagnosis, it seems that Fedotowsky-Manno is already on the mend.