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Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. Gabapentin prevents allodynia and hyperalgesia associated with PHN pain as well as the associated sleep disorder.
A viral infection of nerves and the area of skin connected to that nerve, which causes pain, itching, a rash and blistering. Caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, shingles affects about 1 in 5 people in the UK during their lifetime. Ophthalmic shingles is shingles which affects one of the nerves which control feeling and movement in the face. Before the typical symptoms of shingles occur, early symptoms are possible, which may not obviously be symptoms of shingles.
There are also many possible complications of shingles, the most common example of which is Postherpetic neuralgia - a condition that can result in the pain caused by shingles to last months.
It is not fully understood why the virus can become reactivated, but as shingles is more common in older people, it is probably to do with lowered immunity. Although tests can be conducted for shingles, it is not normally necessary as a GP can diagnose shingles by examining the patient's rash. If a GP suspects there may be complications developing, or that the patient is particularly susceptible to the complications of shingles, then a referral to a specialist will be made. In the majority of cases Shingles patients recover without medical intervention although for anyone with shingles, or suspected shingles, consulting a GP is recommended.


Painkillers are often advised and may be prescribed, depending on the severity of the pain which accompanies the disease. Non steroidal anti-inflammatories may also be prescribed to control the inflammation of the rash.
The body usually recovers from shingles in 2 to 4 weeks, if this does not happen, or the patient is seen to be more at risk, or with reduced immunity, anti-viral medication may be prescribed. As shingles is caused by a virus, and not a bacterium, the use of antibiotics, even a localized antibiotic cream or gel should not be used. Some alternative therapies and medications may help with the prevention and treatment of shingles. The virus, herpes varicella-zoster, infects nerves and the related area of skin, leading to rashes, normally spreading across one area of the body. These include a high fever, a tingling sensation on the skin, muscle pain and a feeling of exhaustion and generally being unwell. When a person catches chicken pox, the immune system fights the virus, but never completely gets rid of it.
The immune system can be weakened for various reasons, most often simply with age, and is therefore no longer as affective at keeping the virus dormant; this explains why shingles is more common in older people. This can be prevented by dressing the rash and covering it up, however care must be taken not to use a dressing that could stick to the rash as this will slow recovery. As with any viral infection, antibiotics will likely slow down recovery by killing of parts of the body's immune system whilst leaving the virus unaffected.


These symptoms do not affect all of those who contract shingles, a fever is particularly uncommon, but if an individual is affected, the early symptoms may last 1 to 4 days before the symptoms more usually associated with shingles become apparent. The virus remains in the body, kept dormant by the immune system, which is why the immune system is always ready to fight the virus if it is encountered again, resulting in immunity from chicken pox. The disease can be brought on by many things though, including high levels of stress or another illness or condition.
Capsaicin Cream - capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers and may help significantly reduce pain when applied to a shingles rash.
However, it is possible for the dormant virus within the body to become reactivated and infect nerves around the body causing shingles.
Proteolytic Enzymes which aid protein digestion may be used instead of anti-viral medications. This normally affects the torso in one or more localized bands, and sometimes the face, and usually only affects one side of the body, though the shingles rash can appear on any part of the body.



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