Five Facts You Should Know About Shingles
Article by Chris Robertson
There are plenty of old wives’ tails being told about shingles, or herpes zoster virus, so it’s time to set the record straight with some facts about this troublesome virus. Here are five straight facts you should know about shingles, its causes, symptoms and treatment.Shingles DO Follow Chickenpox: Herpes zoster virus, commonly known as “shingles”, has its roots in a common childhood illness, chickenpox (varicella zoster virus). After an outbreak of chickenpox, the virus doesn’t completely leave the body but stores itself, instead, around the base of the sensory nerves in the spine.If your immune system remains strong, you’ll probably never suffer from shingles, but such stressors as aging, chemotherapy, and chronic illness can cause the virus to become active and manifest itself as “shingles”.Shingles Appear as a Red Rash with Clear Blisters: The virus causes an eruption, usually in a straight line rather than a random pattern, of red bumps which form clear blisters, much like chickenpox. The major difference between the two diseases is that shingles can be very painful because they form around nerves. Elderly patients, incidentally, tend to suffer greater pain for a longer period of time than other shingles sufferers.Shingles Can’t be Cured with Antibiotics: Because the disease is caused by the herpes zoster virus, antibiotics aren’t usually prescribed unless a secondary infection forms. If someone tells you they were “cured” of shingles by antibiotics, they probably had an opportunistic infection along with shingles that was stopped by the drugs. You’ll probably also be inundated with shingles remedies from friends and family should you have an outbreak. Take the time to discuss what’s being offered with your doctor.Most Outbreaks are Mild, But Some Require Special Treatment: The most common form of shingles is the trademark rash appearing on a patient’s abdomen. While uncomfortable, this mild form of shingles usually disappears within a couple of weeks without further complications. Sometimes, however, shingles can originate in the nerves at the base of the skull and quickly involve the eyes or ears. When this happens, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs. There are also other special steps your healthcare provider will take to make sure the virus doesn’t become more serious.One more possible complication is called PHN, or post-herpetic neuralgia. This is actually intense pain that continues long after the shingles themselves disappear. PHN sufferers are now being treated with steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs to lessen the symptoms.By the way, a person who is immuno-suppressed (has a weak immune system) needs to be on the lookout for shingles to appear. A normal immune system keeps shingles dormant around the spine, but a disease like AIDS that suppresses the immune system can awaken the sleeping virus. If you’re suffering from AIDS or have been affected by a drug or condition that lowers your immunity to disease, let your health care provider know right away if painful red bumps begin to appear.You Can’t “Catch” Shingles, But…: While it’s highly unlikely you’ll contract shingles from another person having an outbreak, it is possible to become infected with chickenpox if you’ve never had that disease. Standard hygienic practices are in order when caring for or visiting someone who has shingles to decrease the risk of spreading chicken pox to others.Should you find yourself suffering from shingles, you’ll probably hear plenty of folk tales about their causes and cure. Here’s the truth: shingles is a common ailment, especially among the elderly, and arming ourselves with solid facts helps save time, money and effort as we seek treatment.
About the Author
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.For tips/information, click here: herpes zosterVisit Majon’s health-products-health-vitamins-dieting directory.