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Shingles - Symptoms and Treatment

Shingles is an outbreak of rash or blisters on the skin that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox the varicella-zoster virus. More than 1 of every 10 people who had chicken pox as children get shingles as adults, usually over age 60. Shingles is also more common in people with weakened immune systems from HIV infection, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, transplant operations, and stress. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in your nerves. The chicken pox virus remains dormant or inactive in nerve root cells of the body. In about 1 out of 5 people, the virus "wakes up," often many years after the chickenpox infection. The virus then travels along a sensory nerve into the skin causing a painful rash known as shingles. Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face. Under certain circumstances, such as emotional stress , immune deficiency or with cancer , the virus re-activates causing shingles. VZV is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After an individual has chickenpox, this virus lives in the nerves and is never fully cleared from the body. Usually the virus does not cause any problems; however, the virus can reappear years later, causing shingles. It occurs only in people who have had chickenpox in the past and represents a reactivation of the dormant varicella virus. Shingles causes a painful rash of small blisters that typically appear on the body, often in a band on the chest and back.

Shingles is a viral infection of the nerve roots . Shingles is most common in older adults and people who have weakened immune systems because of stress, injury, certain medications, or other factors. The virus remains in a resting phase in these nerve cells for years before it is reactivated and grows down the nerves to the skin to produce shingles.Shingles patients are infectious, both from virus in the lesions and in some instances the nose and throat. The virus has not been destroyed but remains dormant in our nerve cells, ready to strike again later in life. The woman had the typical one-sided band of rash and pain of this common neurological disorder. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in your nerves. Although painful, typically shingles isn't a serious condition. Sometimes, however, the rash can lead to a debilitating complication called postherpetic neuralgia.Later in life, a decline in immune system function, brought on by aging or illness, leads to reactivation of VZV. Shingles patients often wear loose or no clothes over the rash because simple light touch is painful. It can occur at any age, but it is most common in people over the age of 50. Significant pain can last for months or years in 1015% of all people who have had shingles. It is uncommon to have shingles more than once, but about 1 in 50 people have shingles two or more times in their life. Commonly known as the herpes zoster virus, shingles is a late manifestation of the chicken pox virus known as varicella zoster. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to minimize the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications that may compromise vision.

Causes of Shingles

Common Causes of Shingles :

  • Varicella zoster.
  • Stress .
  • A weakened immune system.
  • Chickenpox.
  • Injury of the skin where the rash occurs.

Symptoms of Shingles

Some common Symptoms of Shingles :

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Burning.
  • Headache.
  • Tingling.
  • Upset stomach.
  • A red rash with fluid-filled blisters that begins a few days after the pain.

Treatment of Shingles

Some common Treatment of Shingles :

  • Many patients have experienced success with natural treatments such as Shingles No More and other shingles solutions.
  • The blistering rash usually clears in a few weeks. The discomfort may persist longer.
  • Later, when the crusts and scabs are separating, your skin may become dry, tense, and cracked. If that happens, rub on a small amount of white petrolatum (plain Vaseline) three or four times a day.
  • If you have too much pain, we can order a prescription painkiller to take until the pain subsides. The pain is caused by inflammation of a nerve. Cortisone taken by mouth is sometimes used in treating the nerve inflammation.
  • Acyclovir helps to control the skin eruption. It is not a cure, but helps to heal the rash, provided treatment is started early. Acyclovir is taken by mouth.
  • Treat your rash gently. Don't open your blisters. As long as there is blistering or crusting, compresses with dilute vinegar will make you more comfortable. Compress the blisters or crusts for 10 minutes twice daily with a mixture of one-quarter cup of white vinegar and two quarts of lukewarm water. Stop the compresses when the blisters have dried up.








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