Causes, symptoms and treatment of Shingles
Shingles, otherwise known as Herpes Zoster, appears in strips or clusters on the face or body. It commonly appears in seniors, those who have poor immune systems, people under stress, or under particular medications.
Shingles is not a contagious disease. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. When a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. Most times, the virus remains dormant for one’s entire life. But other times, when the virus is activated, it causes the shingles rash. Aging is one of the most common “times” when shingles can appear because aging affects one’s immunity and weakens it.
Shingles can affect those who have not had chickenpox or who have not had the chickenpox vaccine.
The symptoms for shingles do not appear all at one. They appear in certain stages. At first, it starts with minor headaches. You may seem to become more sensitive to light. You may appear to have flu like symptoms, but without a fever.
You may find a particular area of your body itching. This area later erupts and a red rash appears.
The rash is full of tiny fluid-filled boils or blisters. They appear in clusters or in a line. It sometimes takes 2-4 weeks for the eruptions to heal. Others may not have a rash at all.
If you have difficulty seeing, feel dizzy constantly or have a rash that just doesn't go away, then you need see a doctor right away.
Shingles has no cure, but the treatment includes medicines and ointments to prevent complications. The antiviral medication helps you deal with the pain. The antidepressants and topical creams relieve pain as well.