Shingles Treatment - Get Rid Of Shingles
Shingles is also known by its more technical name, herpes zoster, zoster for short, and zona. No matter what you call it, shingles is one of the most painful skin diseases known to man.
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Shingles is a viral condition that spawns from the varicella zoster virus, which is better known for causing the intense, but short-lived chicken pox. Many suffer from chicken pox in their childhood, as the varicella zoster virus is quite infectious and quite resilient.
However, chicken pox burns itself out quickly, after which varicella zoster remains dormant for some time. Varicella zoster then, infrequently, returns as herpes zoster. While most of the virus is eliminated by the immune system through the course of the chicken pox, it may survive in the spinal cord and go latent.
The circumstances that cause varicella zoster to return from dormancy are not well understood, but it almost exclusively afflicts individuals over the age of fifty. Cases of shingles do not recurr frequently, much like chicken pox, but it is possible for them to do so. However, recurrence in excess of three cases is nearly unheard of. The severity of a case of shingles does not seem to correlate to the likelihood that it will return.
Shingles can result from a single infected ganglion in the spinal cord simply returning from dormancy and spreading, so the severity of the original varicella zoster infection has absolutely no bearing on the severity or likelihood of a shingles infection following it, much in the same way that a shingles occurrence and its severity says little about the likelihood of a more or less severe case of shingles following it.
Shingles is very, very painful in its full-fledged form, and it carries with it a host of unique symptoms. The symptoms of shingles begin seeming much like a case of the chicken pox, as in childhood: a fever onsets first, followed by headache, malaise and a predisposition to dehydration. These are common symptoms of many other ailments, however, including all strains of the flu.
As individuals increase in age and become susceptible to shingles, they also become more susceptible to the flu and other viruses that bear the same initial symptoms. As a consequence, shingles is rarely identified at its initial onset. Following these flu-like symptoms are skin-specific symptoms. The first and most common is a burning sensation that is also equated to the painful pins-and-needles feeling of a sleeping limb. This is often accompanied with pain. The pain may be of varying severity and quality, and may be piercing or aching.
The rare childhood cases of shingles actually don't carry this pain, taking out another factor of detection. After between three days and three weeks of persistent fever, headache, malaise and burning pain, the signature rash that indicates the symptoms have originated from shingles will appear. This rash is accompanied by inflammation filled with serous fluid and blood, and may range in appearance from merely discolored to a bright, angry red. This rash is quite painful, frequently, and is the most persistent element of shingles.
The disease typically runs its course in three to five weeks, with or without treatment.
Side effects of shingles may include damage to the eyes and motor system, as well as posthereptic neuralgia. Posthereptic neuralgia occurs in roughly one in five, or twenty percent of all cases of shingles, and is the term for chronic pain following the subsidence of shingles. This can be very difficult to manage and is considered one of the primary risks of the ailment. Shingles itself has a mild prognosis, with posthereptic neuralgia being the chief risk, but ocular or nervous involvement can lead to permanent nerve damage and blindness. Additionally, herpes zoster can leave the afflicted vulnerable to secondary bacterial infections, which can be very difficult to treat alongside a comorbid viral infection. Shingles is never comfortable, but it can go quite badly.
Shingles is not a disease to be taken lightly. Fortunately, modern medicine has provided us with many advances that can help to keep shingles at bay; treated aggressively by a resourceful physician, even the full gamut of negative side effects on the part of herpes zoster can be completely negated. Shingles, while a dreadfully uncomfortable disease, is completely treatable and, unlike many other diseases of its type, it can be inoculated against.
Please keep in mind that you should always get the opinion of your medical practitioner. Although shinglestreatments.net has made every possible effort to provide you with in-depth information about shingles and its treatment, the advice we give on our site is not meant to replace the opinion of a licensed health care practitioner.
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That being said, go and have a look on our site to find out more about what shingles is, and the different shingles treatments that are available. We wrote seperate chapters on these topics: Shingles Prevention, comparison of Shingles Treatment Options, and a seperate article on what we deem the Best Shingles Treatment.