What is shingles?
Shingles is a serious infectious disease caused by herpes virus varicella, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Appears in people who have had smallpox and who have reactivated a latent infection.
It's a dangerous disease that can lead to serious complications. It is worth knowing what its symptoms are and how to deal with it.
This disease is characterized primarily by skin lesions. Sometimes patients complain of general malaise, headache, weakness and elevated body temperature.
The disease lasts from 2 to 4 weeks and the pain, burning and itching of the skin may persist all the time. There are skin lesions in the form of erythematous blisters. They can be grouped in a specific place or spread over a larger area. Most often they appear on the face, slightly less often on the torso, back and stomach. The formation of lesions around the nerves, e.g. ocular or nasociliary, is characteristic. Usually, blisters appear only on the right or left side of the body, not crossing the middle line of the face or torso.
Skin lesions, like chicken pox, are painful and itchy. They may become red and the skin around them swollen. After about a week from the appearance of blisters, they begin to dry, transforming into unsightly scabs, which fall off at a later stage of the disease.
Because the lesions are located where the nerves run, neuralgia may persist for months after the illness (especially in older people).
This disease can occur in several different clinical variants. We distinguish characters:
• hemorrhagic - these are the most severe cases,
• ocular - corneal eye ulceration occurs,
• disseminated or generalized - in this form, in addition to typical locations, changes also arise on the trunk and are disseminated. It occurs most often in patients with cancer or metabolic diseases such as diabetes,
• gangrenous - a severe form of herpes zoster, characterized by the fact that the skin lesions break down, leaving gangrenous ulcers.
Antiviral drugs alleviate the course of the disease and limit its spread. However, it is not recommended to administer them in all cases of herpes zoster, only in those with acute course or in people over 50 years of age with a weakened immune system. Skin lesions can be relieved with local astringents and soothing agents. It is also recommended to put on a dressing that will protect the affected skin from rubbing and scratching. Aerosols with local disinfecting or anesthetic effects may be useful.
If the patient complains of severe and nagging pain, he may be advised to take painkillers. To prevent nerve problems after the disease has stopped, it is worth introducing small doses of corticosteroids or irradiation with a stimulating laser.
Complications after illness
The type of complications depends mainly on the location of the lesions on the skin. However, they can all be very dangerous to health. The most common complications of herpes zoster include: keratitis, paralysis of the nerves responsible for moving the eyeball, auditory nerve paralysis resulting in partial hearing loss, facial paralysis, back pain and pneumonia. To avoid complications, see a doctor as soon as possible if you have symptoms suggestive of herpes zoster infection.
It is also worth taking care of immunity to prevent the development of the disease. The decrease in body immunity can be caused by various factors. A significant part of the immune system is associated with the intestines. Cells located in the intestines produce huge amounts of immune bodies to fight all pathogens found in the body, namely: bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and toxins.
The loads that each of us is exposed to can get into the blood and spread throughout the body. Then there is a decrease in immunity, which leads to a faster development of many diseases. To detect what is stressing your body, do a simple and effective test on your body. Apply to one of our branches today.