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admin 25.07.2015

Shingles: An acute infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus as causes chickenpox. A useful chart, providing clinical treatment options for acute Herpes zoster, is provided in the figure below.
This is a condensation of the International Herpes Management Forum treatment recommendations for herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia. Shingles occurs because of exposure to chickenpox or reactivation of the herpes zoster virus.
Depending on the biotypes of the above mentioned bacteria the severity of the disease varies. Since this disease is infectious it can spread by respiratory droplets or by contact with the infected person. Pain sometimes persists after the rash has gone, more commonly in people over the age of 50. It causes numbness, itching or pain followed by the appearance of clusters of littles blisters in a strip pattern on one side of the body. Symptoms of respiratory diphtheria include fever, difficulty in breathing and swallowing and further spread of the disease can cause heart and neurological problems such as paralysis. The pain can persist for weeks, months or years after the rash heals and is then known as post-herpetic neuralgia. People with shingles are contagious to persons who have not had chickenpox and can catch chickenpox from close contact with a person who has shingles.


After the diagnosis of the infected patient, proper treatment should be taken including diphtheria antitoxin which reduces the progression of the disease and later antibiotics like penicillin and erythromycin should be applied to eradicate it completely.
Treatment includes antiviral medication and pain medication. The term shingles has nothing to do with a shingle on a roof or the small signboard outside the office of a doctor but is derived from the Latin cingulum meaning girdle, the idea being that shingles often girdles part of the body.
Vaccination and immunization of infants at the age of 2,4 ,6 months is the finest way to prevent this disease. A slight weakening of the immune system in older people may account for the virus reactivating and multiplying to cause shingles.) Shingles is also more common in people with a poor immune system (immunosuppression). The rash looks like chickenpox, but only appears on the band of skin supplied by the affected nerve.
The soft tissues under and around the rash may become swollen for a while due to swelling (inflammation) caused by the virus.
In this person, it has affected a nerve and the skin that the nerve supplies, on the left side of the abdomen.
In severe cases it can lead to inflammation of the whole of the eye which may cause loss of vision. People with a poor immune system (immunosuppression) who develop shingles have a higher than normal risk of developing rare or serious complications. Pain may be eased by cooling the affected area with ice cubes (wrapped in a plastic bag), wet dressings, or a cool bath.


A non-adherent dressing that covers the rash when it is blistered and raw may help to reduce pain caused by contact with clothing. An antiviral medicine does not kill the virus but works by stopping the virus from multiplying. It had also been hoped that antiviral medicines would reduce the risk of pain persisting into PHN. However, the research so far has shown that the current antiviral medicines taken during an episode of shingles do not seem to have much impact on the prevention of PHN. Further research is needed in this area to determine if certain groups of patients do benefit and if newer antiviral drugs can prevent PHN.
For example, young adults and children who develop shingles on their tummy (abdomen) very often have mild symptoms and have a low risk of developing PHN.
In addition to easing pain during an episode of shingles, they may also help to prevent PHN.
You will normally be given antiviral medication whatever your age, and will be monitored for complications.



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