WHAT IS HERPES ZOSTER?
Herpes zoster also known as shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus which produces painful rash. Varicella-zoster virus also causes chickenpox. Once you are infected with the virus it remains dormant in the body near the spinal cord and brain and may reactivate anytime in life and produce shingles. Shingles is a very painful condition.
Although shingles may appear anywhere in the body but they usually appear as a single line of blisters either on the left or right side of the trunk of the body.
- Weak immune system: certain diseases which weaken the immune system (HIV/AIDS, cancer) make you more prone to develop shingles
- Being 60 or older: shingles is seen in older people more
- Cancer treatment: compromises the immune system thus predispose to development of shingles
- Steroids: also increase the risk of development of shingles
Common complication of herpes zoster is infections with acute pain.
- Postherpetic neuralgia:- is a condition commonly seen as a complication of shingles. The blisters get cleared but the pain continues long after the blisters have healed.
- Vision loss:- if herpes develops around the eyes then it causes painful infection which can affect the vision.
- Skin infection:- the blisters should be treated properly.
- Neurological problem:- herpes zoster can cause an inflammation of the brain, facial paralysis, or hearing or balance problems.
- The first symptom of shingles is localized pricking, burning pain with itching which develops days before appearance of the rash.
- After few days fluid filled red blisters appear on the site of pain as a stripe of blisters on either side of the body.
- The typical feature of the rash is that it would not cross the midline of the body and would stay on one side only
- The blisters may burst and crust forms at the site.
- There is sensitivity to touch.
- In few cases the pain and rashes can be accompanied by fever, headache and fatigue.
- There could be sensitivity to light if the rash is near eye
Herpes zoster is caused by varicella-zoster virus which also causes chickenpox. Once you are infected with chickenpox the virus stays dormant in the body and may reactivate anytime thus producing shingles.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Herpes zoster diagnosed with a physical examination of rashes and blisters. Sometimes doctor may also take a tissue scraping or culture of the blisters for laboratory examination.
Treatment for herpes zoster is antiviral drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotic medications creams, gels but these treatments are not permanent and safe. Thus homeopathic treatment is the best treatment for herpes zoste
- Take varicella vaccine and varicella-zoster vaccine.
- Take healthy foods.
- Maintain hygiene
- Don’t get in contact with person having the rash.
- Warm applications might help with pain
There are medicines like arsenic album, rhus tox, arsenic album, calca carb, causticum, graphites, hepar sulph, silicea, sulphur, variolinum, mezereum, etc. But medicine depends on the presentation of the case and should never be taken without consulting a registered homeopath. Homeopathy has permanent cure for herpes zoster.
DO’s AND DON’Ts
- Take vaccinations
- Take healthy foods
- Maintain hygiene
- Don’t touch or get in contact with person having the infection.