BY DR ANIRBAN BISWAS (MD)
Although occurring from the same virus( varicella-zoster ), there are 5 major differences between shingles and chicken pox :
Antiviral drugs like ACYCLOVIR[Zovirax], both as tablet and ointment for application and Immune Globulin Intravenous [IGIV] can reduce the risk of Chickenpox.
Traditional Chickenpox treatments are used to get away from the symptoms
- Fever and discomfort - Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can be given to reduce the fever and physical distress. Do not give aspirin due to its link to Reye's syndrome.
- Itching - antihistamines like allegra-120 mg, loradit-10 mg, levuze-5 mg or atarax -25 mg can be used. Calamine lotion or other anti-itch lotion could bring some relief to the itchy blisters and scabs. For blisters inside the mouth, plain food will stop further irritation of the mouth.
- Fatigue - Bed rest and a quiet room or even laying around watching a movie will prevent tiredness. Fatigue is usually caused by difficulty in sleeping in addition to the affects of a fighting off the virus.
- Fever and discomfort - Lukewarm to cool bathwater or cool cloths. Do not use ice or cold water. Gentle massages for muscle aches, being careful not to irritate blisters or scabs.
- Itching - vinegar, baking soda, or oatmeal (made for bath tubs) in bath water can bring relief to itching.
- Fatigue - calming tea will help with sleep and bed rest will help with fatigue.
here is no cure for shingles, but treatment may shorten the length of illness and prevent complications. Treatment options include:
- Antiviral medicines to reduce the pain and duration of disease.
- Pain medicines, antidepressants, and topical creams to relieve long-term pain.
As soon as you are diagnosed with shingles, your doctor probably will start treatment with antiviral medicines. If you begin medicines within the first 3 days of seeing the rash , you have a lower chance of having later problems, such as postherpetic neuralgia.
- antiviral medicines, such as acyclovir,famciclovir or valacyclovir, to reduce the pain and the duration of shingles.
- Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as combiflam , to help reduce pain during an attack of shingles.
- Topical antibiotics, applied directly to the skin, to stop infection of the blisters.
For severe cases of shingles, some doctors may have their patients use corticosteroids along with antiviral medicines. But corticosteroids are not used very often for shingles. This is because studies show that taking a corticosteroid along with an antiviral medicine doesn't help any more than just taking an antiviral medicine by itself.
If you have pain that persists longer than a month after your rash heals, your doctor may diagnose postherpetic neuralgia(PHN), the most common complication of shingles. PHN can cause pain for months or years. It affects 10 to 15 out of 100 people who have had shingles.Treatment to reduce the pain of postherpetic neuralgia includes:
- antidepressant medicines, such as a nildep-25mg.
- Topical anesthetics that include lidocaine, which are available in over-the-counter forms that you can apply directly to the skin for pain relief.
- anticonvulsant medicines, such as nerwita-g or nerwita-pg.
- opioids, such as codeine.
Topical creams containing capsaicin may provide some relief from pain. . it may irritate or burn the skin of some people, and it should be used with caution.
How can Chickenpox be prevented?
If a person have chickenpox, they should stay away from public areas so they can stay away from people who haven't had it, specially babies under 12 months, pregnant women and people with a weaken immune system. People should be kept off school [children] and other public areas until all the spots have crusted over, which is when they prevent being contagious.
Varicella (Chicken Pox )-2 doses within 28 days &
Zoster (Shingles) - 1 dose (above 60 years)
FOR OTHER VACCINE PREVENTABLE DISEASE YOU MAY READ MY OTHER HEALTH FEED
14 ADULT VACCINES WHICH CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE.