Shingles is virus infection. Virus name is varicella herpes zoster. Herpes zosteris same virus in Chicken Pox .Chicken Pox is very common in children mainly of age group between 1 to 10 years. Initially, red patches of rash develop into blisters. The first sign of shingles is often burning or tingling pain, or sometimes numbness or itch, in one particular location on only one side of the body. Sometimes, however, the rash can lead to a debilitating complication called postherpetic neuralgia. This condition causes the skin to remain painful and sensitive to touch for months or even years after the rash clears up. Shingles erupts along the course of the affected nerve, producing lesions anywhere on the body. The most common areas to be affected are the face and trunk, which correspond to the areas where the chickenpox rash is most concentrated. There is usually a line of eruptions running from the spine along the path of the affected nerve on one side of the body. Early signs of shingles are often vague and can easily be mistaken for other illnesses. The condition may begin with fever and malaise (a vague feeling of weakness or discomfort). Within two to four days, severe pain, itching, and numbness/tingling (paresthesias) or extreme sensitivity to touch (hyperesthesia) can develop, usually on the trunk and occasionally on the arms and legs. VZV remains as a symptomless infection in the dorsal root ganglia of the spinal cord. It may or may not become active again, that is, begin reproducing, later in life. Reactivation occurs more often in older people, probably as a result of decreased immune response with age.
Shingles is an infection of the central nervous system. Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. Some possibilities caused of shingles is stress, fatigue ,weakened immune system ,Injury of the skin where the rash occurs and cancer. Shingles’ symptoms may be vague and nonspecific at first. In the United States, there are an estimated 1 million cases of shingles each year. Shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death. For about 1 person in 5, severe pain can continue even after the rash clears up. People with shingles may experience numbness, tingling, itching, or pain before the classic rash appears. In the pre-eruption stage, diagnosis may be difficult, and the pain can be so severe that it may be mistaken for pleurisy, kidney stones, gallstones, appendicitis, or even a heart attack, depending on the location of the affected nerve. The Outbreak The pain can be mild to severe. Blisters then form and last from one to 14 days. If shingles appears on your face, it may affect your vision or hearing. The pain of shingles may last for weeks, months or even years after the blisters have healed. The rash develops into fluid-filled blisters that then collapse, forming small ulcers. These dry out and form crusts. The risk of getting shingles increases as a person gets older. People who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, like cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and drugs given after organ transplantation are also at greater risk to get shingles.
Treatment for shingles is primarily with antiviral drugs. Early treatment with medicines that fight the virus may help. The shingles virus can be treated with antiviral medication. Apply cool tap-water compresses to weeping blisters for 20 minutes several times a day to soothe and help dry the blisters. Shingles that affects the eyes requires antiviral therapy and urgent referral to an ophthalmologist. Several medicines, acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir), are available to treat shingles. These medications should be started as soon as possible after the rash appears and will help shorten how long the illness lasts and how severe the illness is. The treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia can involve painkillers, capsaicin cream and, if necessary, specific antidepressants. The pain associated with shingles, and with the postherpetic neuralgia that may linger (especially in older patients, after the condition has otherwise resolved), is best treated using combination therapy based on antivirals, antidepressants, corticosteroids, opioids (morphine), and topical agents (applied directly to the skin). Do not scratch. This may increase the risk of secondary bacterial infection and scarring. Keep the area clean with mild soap and water. Application of petroleum jelly can aid in healing. Wear loose clothing to avoid extra pain from clothing rubbing against the rash. Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with others who have not had chickenpox, are ill, or who have a weakened immune system.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Shingles Tips
1.Make a paste from turmeric powder. Apply the paste to affected areas of the skin for pain relief and to speed healing.
2.Crush two aspirin, mix them with 2 tbsp rubbing alcohol, and apply the paste to lesions three times a day. This will provide relief by desensitizing the nerve endings.
3. Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water. Moisten a clean cotton face-cloth with this solution. Wring slightly and rub affected area with the moist towel upwards towards the heart after the shingles attack subsides and the blisters dry up. Repeat this procedure for an hour daily, as needed.
4. Dust colloidal oatmeal powder on the parts of the body where clothes rub against your skin. This may reduce pain.
5.Apply aloe vera gel, raw honey, or fresh leek juice over the rash several times a day. You can also use hydrogen peroxide on infected blisters
6.A gel made from licorice root appears to be an excellent topical application.
7. Pear juice is rich in antiviral caffeic acid. Drink it as a fruit juice and eat lots of pears for shingles.
8. Avoid foods containing the amino acid arginine, such as chocolate, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds.
9.Baking soda and water solution can also be applied as a cold compress.
10.Take bayberry, cinnamon, ginger, lobelia, and valerian root to aid the healing process.