Shingles

Shingles.  Drawing from the site www.sciencephoto.com

Shingles lichen (Herpes zoster) — a viral infection that causes pain and skin rash. Occurs more frequently in autumn and winter, especially in the elderly.

The disease is caused by the same herpes virus (herpes zoster), which is the causative agent of varicella (chickenpox). After chickenpox passes virus does not disappear from the body, and the "dormant" cells in the nervous system. As long as the body is healthy, virus does not manifest itself, but sometimes many years later, he re-enters the bloodstream, causing the symptoms of shingles.

The causes of "awakening" of the virus:

  • Administration of drugs that reduce the immune system (corticosteroids, immunosuppressants).
  • Chronic stress and fatigue.
  • Cancer: Hodgkin's lymphoma and other tumors.
  • Effects of radiotherapy.
  • HIV infection and AIDS.

Shingles lichen contagious — virus found in secretions from the bubbles. For people who recover from chickenpox, there is no risk of infection. However, those who have not had chickenpox, particularly children who are in contact with the patient shingles can develop chickenpox (varicella).

What's going on?

A few days before the onset of illness may be a state resembling the flu: headache, fever, chilling, fatigue. At the same time there may be pain, burning and itching, as well as numbness and tingling in the area of future eruptions.

After 1-4 of the day there are rashes on the skin, the body temperature can rise to38-39 C. The rash looks like pinkish spots that are on the same or next day turn into small blisters with clear content. The rash usually unilateral and located along one of the sensory nerves. Most often they occur in the chest (in the intercostal space) on the face, at least along the nerves of the limbs. Designated rash is usually painful.

Severity of pain varies between individuals. Some people feel a burning sensation, itching, turning into a time of healing, as is often the case with chickenpox. Others experience the pain is so unbearable that they can not even perform daily work.

During the week of bubbles increases significantly. Thereafter, the liquid contained in them, cloudy, dry out the bubbles are drawn into and scab. Podsohnuv, they form protruding from the skin plaques. At the site of the lesion is lighter in color the skin or scar.

Patients with a normal immune system will recover in time from 15 days to 1 month. Elderly and debilitated patients are prone to more prolonged and severe course.

The worst part of this disease is that even after recovery, the pain may persist for months and even years. These pains are called "post-herpetic neuralgia."

Ill with shingles only once in life, disease recurrence in does not happen. The only exceptions are people with AIDS and immune deficiencies.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis is made on the basis of complaints dermatologist and patient examination.

In people with weakened immune systems may be festering rash and spread over a large area. Such patients, and patients with eye disease, which manifests itself rash on the tip of the nose needs to be hospitalized. Otherwise, they may develop serious complications.

Treatment of shingles should be done only under a doctor's supervision. In this disease, commonly used analgesics, sedatives and hypnotics. Also be sure to prescribe antiviral drugs: acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir, which quickly eliminate rash, stop the spread of the virus and reduce the severity of pain.

The affected skin recommended to lubricate green paint or other disinfectant to prevent festering.

Post-herpetic neuralgia may be assigned additional physiotherapy.

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