Shingles which is also known as herpes zoster is a very painful, skin rash or shingles rash that produces blisters due to the virus called varicella-zoster. This is the same virus which is the cause of chickenpox too.
Causes of Shingles rash
After the attack of chickenpox, this virus lies inactive and dormant in specific nerves of the body. Shingles rash occurs when this virus again becomes active in those nerves after several years.
The main cause of why the virus again becomes suddenly active is not vivid. Mostly only a single attack takes place.
This can occur in all kinds of age however the chances in getting it are more if:
- You are above 60
- You have had chickenpox at a very small age
- Weak immunity due to disease or medication
If a child or even an adult has got shingles directly but didn’t get chickenpox during childhood or even did not take vaccine for chickenpox, they may develop chickenpox but not shingles rash.
Symptoms of Shingles rash
Initial symptoms are mostly one-sided pain, burning as well as tingling. The burning and also the pain may become severe and mostly comes before the appearance of any rashes. In most of the people it appears as red patch on the skin which is followed by tiny blisters. These blisters break up forming very small sores which dries up and crusts are formed soon. These crusts will be falling off within 2-3 weeks. The chance of scarring is very rare.
- Shingles rash usually come in a narrow region comprising the spine to the stomach or even the chest.
- Shingles rash may also come on the eyes, ears, mouth as well as the face.
Other symptoms of Shingles rash may also include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Shivering and fever
- Feeling sick
- Genital sore
- Pain in the joints
- glands as well as lymph nodes swelling
Sometimes you will also get pain, experience muscle weakening and rash that involves various parts of the face when shingles has affected nerves of the face. These symptoms of shingles rash will include:
- Ptosis which causes eyelids in drooping
- Loss of hearing
- Eye movement loss
- Problems in taste
- Problems in vision
- Less movement of the facial muscles
Treatment of Shingles rash
Your doctor will prescribe a medicine to fight the Shingles virus which is known as antiviral drug that helps in reducing pain, avoid complications as well as help in speedy recovery.
The medication must start within 3 days from when you get the initial paining and burning sensation. It is good if you start taking these drugs before the appearance of blisters. This drugs which are in pill forms usually are high in doses. Few people will be required to take the medicines through the vein, IV process.
Cool wet compressing is used in reducing pain. Soothing lotions for bath like calamine lotions help in relieving itching as well as discomfort.
Also bed rest till the fever comes down is highly recommended.
- Always keep the skin fully clean.
- Never reuse items that are contaminated
- Wash items that are non disposable in water that is boiling and disinfect them for further use
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