Definition Shingles

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Shingles is generally experienced by the elderly, especially those aged over 50 years. Disease which is also known as chicken pox or measles snake fire is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox virus, varicella zoster ie. Varicella virus that persist in the body even after chickenpox cured, can be re-activated at a later date and cause shingles.
The disease is generally not life-threatening, but can cause severe pain. Therefore, immediately contact your doctor if you experience symptoms that can be treated as early as possible.

Virus Causes of Shingles
The cause of shingles together with chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus. This virus will remain in the nerve tissue of the body even after chickenpox recover.

The reason behind the active virus re not known with certainty. But there are several factors influencing suspected triggers, namely:
  • Age. This disease primarily affects the elderly (especially those aged 50 years and over).
  • Ever suffered from chickenpox.
  • Decreased immune system, such as suffering from diabetes , long-term use of steroid drugs, or undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Experiencing stress.
People with shingles can not transmit the disease to others, but can transmit chickenpox. If you have never had chicken pox and having direct contact with the rash of shingles, you can be infected with varicella zoster virus and chicken pox.

If exposed to herpes zoster, the first symptom is pain will be felt. The pain can also be a burning sensation. A few days later, a rash resembling a half-circle appears. The rash is usually around the left or right side of the body, especially in the abdomen and chest. The rash will then form a blister which contains water that itch and become scabs in 3-5 days.

However, the symptoms of the disease can vary. A small portion of people with experience pain but without rash. Here are other symptoms that may accompany the main symptoms of the above:
  • Fever and chills.
  • Pain throughout the body.
  • Headache .
Shingles is generally not classified as serious illness and life-threatening. But you should immediately contact your doctor if you have ever had chickenpox and feel the above symptoms can be treated as early as possible in order to reduce the risk of complications.

Measures Treating Herpes Zoster
One of the symptoms of herpes zoster in the form of pain and rash. Therefore, the diagnosis by the doctor is usually done by checking the location and form of rashes, as well as pain and other symptoms are felt. Your doctor may take a sample of fluid from the skin rash or a rash which will then be examined in the laboratory if needed.

Just like chickenpox, no special measures to deal with shingles. The aim of treatment is to reduce symptoms until the disease is cured by itself. Healing period shingles on average takes 14-28 days.

Step medical treatment that can be done to speed healing and reduce the risk of complications is the administration of antiviral drugs. For example, acyclovir and famciclovir. The antiviral drug is most effective when taken within three days after the rash appears and is usually given by doctors to use for people with a maximum of 10 days.

The group of people who especially need antiviral drugs include the elderly and people with decreased immune systems such as people with cancer, HIV and diabetes. In addition, the antivirus is also given to people with the rash or severe pain and if shingles affects the eye.

Handle the pain as early as possible can also prevent sufferers from a neurological disorder that can cause pain lasts for months or even years after the rash healed. To cope with the pain, there are several types of drugs that would normally be granted a doctor. Among them:
  • Painkillers, such as paracetamol , aspirin, ibuprofen and codeine.
  • Anticonvulsant drugs such as gabapentin .
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline. Regular doctor will increase the dose slowly until the pain can be resolved.
Anticonvulsant and antidepressant drugs usually takes a few weeks until its effectiveness can be felt sufferers.

In addition to treatment with drugs, you also can perform simple steps to reduce your symptoms. For example, by wearing clothes made from soft like cotton and closes rash to keep them clean and dry to reduce the risk of irritation and infection. But avoid using plaster or any adhesive material so as not to add to the irritation.

If the rash itches, you can use calamine lotion to reduce them. But avoid the use of topical antibiotics because it can slow the healing process. While the watery blister that can be treated and cleaned with cold water compresses.

Prevent Herpes Zoster
The main preventive measures that can be done to reduce the risk of shingles is to receive the vaccine shingles and chickenpox. Although not prevent shingles fully exposed, at least this vaccination can reduce the severity of symptoms will be experienced if this disease.

You can also prevent the spread of this disease with simple steps like not borrow personal items sufferers (eg a towel or clothing).

If Not Treating H erpes Z Oster
If left untreated, shingles can cause some serious complications that include:
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia or postherpetic neuralgia. Severe pain that can last for months or even years after the rash healed. There are an estimated 15 percent of patients with herpes zoster who experience this complication.
  • Blindness. If appear around the eyes, shingles can lead to painful inflammation of the optic nerve, glaucoma and even lead to blindness.
  • Disorders of the nerves, for example, inflammation of the brain, hearing problems or even the balance of the body.
  • Bacterial infection of the rash.
  • White patches on the former rash. Shingles rash can cause damage to the skin pigment.

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