Herpes zoster, which is also known as shingles, is a viral infection that arises when varicella-zoster virus reactivates from its hidden condition in a posterior dorsal root ganglion. Herpes zoster is characterized by a red skin rash that can leads to pain and burning. Symptoms of this infection generally start with pain along the affected dermatome, followed in 2 to 3 days by a vesicular eruption that is mostly diagnostic. Herpes zoster or shingles generally appears as a line of blisters on one side of the body, mostly on the neck, face or torso. This condition commonly occurs in elderly and HIV-infected patients.
Signs and Symptoms
The primary symptoms of Herpes zoster are mostly pain and burning. Mostly the pain occurs on one side of the body and in small patches followed by a red rash.
The most common characteristics include:
- Red patches
- Fluid-filled blisters that can break easily
- A continuous rash from the spine to the torso
- A severe rash on the face and ears
However, in some cases, along with pain and rash people experience some other symptoms as well. These symptoms can include:
- a fever
- a headache
- muscle weakness
Some less common and serious problems of Herpes zoster include:
- pain or rash near the eye, which must be treated to avoid severe eye damage
- loss of hearing or severe pain in one ear, loss of taste on your tongue or dizziness
- bacterial infections, in which skin generally becomes red, swollen, and warm
What are the risk factors associated with Herpes zoster?
Herpes zoster can occur in anyone especially those who have had chickenpox. Nevertheless, there are some other certain factors that put people at risk for developing Herpes zoster or shingles, these include:
- being 60 or older
- facing any disease that weaken the immune system, like HIV, AIDS, or cancer
- any prior chemotherapy or radiation treatment
- use of drugs that weaken the immune system, like steroids or medications taken in case of an organ transplant
Diagnosing of Herpes zoster
The majority of Herpes zoster cases can be diagnosed with a physical examination of rashes and blisters. The doctor might also ask you questions about your medical history.
In very rare cases, the doctor might want to test a sample of your skin or the fluid from your blisters. By using a sterile swab, he will collect a sample of tissue or fluid. These samples are then sent to a medical laboratory to indentify the presence of the virus.
Treatment for Herpes zoster:
The treatment for Herpes zoster varies from one case to other depending on the severity of eruptions. However, in most of the cases doctors generally recommend oral antivirals. Treating Herpes zoster with oral antivirals lessens the severity and duration of the acute eruption and the rate of serious complications in patients. The most commonly recommended oral antivirals are – Famciclovir , valacyclovir, acyclovir, etc.
Though the results of studies concerning the safety of acyclovir and valacyclovir during pregnancy are encouraging, but the safety of antiviral therapy during pregnancy is not strongly established. As congenital varicella generally results from maternal varicella but not often from maternal zoster, the possible advantage of treatment of pregnant patients should outweigh probable risks to the foetus.
Homeopathic treatment for Herpes zoster
Herpes zoster is completely curable by using internal Homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines for Herpes zoster offer an effective recovery. As homeopathic medicines are mostly derived from natural substances, thus they are safe along with being successful and being free from side-effects.