Shingles or Herpes Zoster is a reactivation disease of chickenpox. The virus from Chickenpox lives inside the nerves of the body and can travel to the skin at times of stress or poor immune function to cause shingles.
Shingles begins as painful red blisters or sores on one side of the body, along the nerve distribution. The little blisters are often in groups and begin to form little sores that are very tender. They key to their unique pattern is that they do not cross the mid-line of the body.
The correct and prompt diagnosis of shingles is the key to the treatment. Anti-viral treatment with in the first 48 hours of the onset of the disease can decrease the duration of the disease as well as potential complications. Topical over-the-counter medicines do not work; prompt medical treatment is necessary. Treatment involves antiviral drugs combined with topical and systemic anti-inflammatory medications to minimize the development of post-herpetic neuralgia (which is the most significant manifestation of this disorder).
This is a long lasting painful nerve disease even in the absence of any skin lesions, due to inflammation and damage to the nerves. The lesions begin to clear in 2-3 weeks, but may last up to three months in severe cases. The immune system of the patient is very important to a quick recovery, as is prompt evaluation and treatment. The dried blisters can be gently cleansed with dilute white vinegar mixed in 5 parts of water to cool the skin.
Please contact us to meet with the doctor for a consultation and the right treatment plan for you.