Medical Encyclopedia

Shingles

What is shingles?

Shingles is a painful viral infectious disease that may affect the appearance of the rash (similar to that which occurs when the varicella) in different parts of the body. Due to inflammation ganglia bubbles are formed on the skin. Eruptions occur during virus infected nerves that innervate different areas of the skin. As a rule, the ganglia are affected only one side of the body. Shingles and chickenpox is the same virus. Chickenpox usually affects children – this is the primary infection, which is caused by the virus. Shingles develops due to reactivation of latent virus, which was located in the spinal or cerebral ganglia recovering from chickenpox. Middle-aged and elderly people are ill with the disease.

Symptoms of shingles

  • Fatigue, malaise.
  • Severe pain.
  • Skin changes.
  • Vials containing a clear liquid.
  • Fever.

Causes of shingles

Transmission of the virus occurs by direct contact with the patient, for example, by touch, or by airborne droplets.

Treatment of shingles

If treatment is started immediately, forecast is favorable. Bubbles are smeared with special ointments, patients drink drugs that inhibit replication of pathogens, and vitamin B. With frequently recurrent herpes doctors prescribe antiviral drugs.

Shingles

The patient should be in bed, do not try to comb the site of the defeat - this will reduce the likelihood of spread of inflammation and bacterial complications. Medications, which are prescribed by the doctor, soothe itching and pain.

In principle, all changes should be examined by a doctor of the skin. If it affects the cranial nerve disease is complicated by a loss of hearing or vision. Lack of treatment can lead to damage to the genital organs.

Shingles is diagnosed by the location and appearance of the rash. If the doctor doubts, viruses can be detected by laboratory or seeding cell cultures. In severe form of the disease the patient is hospitalized. Inpatient treatment is indicated with face shingles, as a threat to hearing and vision occurs.

Course of the disease

The first symptoms of shingles - severe pain in the affected area, fatigue, loss of appetite, and temperature rise. Most often, the rash surround intercostal, thoracic or lumbar body. After 3-5 days of painful skin areas red nodules are formed with clear or purulent contents. Fever is 2-3 days after the onset of bubble eruptions - 2-4 weeks, often without scars. Often, elderly patients who had inflammation of the nerves, pains persist for a month or longer period of time.

Is shingles a dangerous disease?

Usually the patient is recovering. However, this disease is dangerous for older patients. In severe cases, agents of the disease are affecting the central nervous system, which leads to the development of serious complications of meningitis, encephalitis, and sometimes paralysis. Patient, which is suffering from face shingles must be under the supervision of an eye doctor. If the inflammation spreads to the eyes, it can cause corneal ulcers. The disease also can affect the ears. Cases of death are extremely rare. Transferred shingles leaves a strong immunity.

Prevention of shingles

Guard against shingles is impossible.

Chickenpox and shingles is the same virus. However, unlike chickenpox, shingles is less contagious. But the children, after all, must be isolated from the patients.

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