Shingles, a contagious and painful disease

Herpes zoster or shingles is an infectious and contagious disease, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The condition is characterized by inflammation of one or more sensory ganglia and nerve roots in question, and clinically is manifested by an erythematic – vesicular eruption, with living pain, with limited topography (hence … Continue reading “Shingles, a contagious and painful disease”

Herpes zoster or shingles is an infectious and contagious disease, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The condition is characterized by inflammation of one or more sensory ganglia and nerve roots in question, and clinically is manifested by an erythematic – vesicular eruption, with living pain, with limited topography (hence the name of shingles).

Varicella-zoster virus persists for a long time (perhaps lifetime) in the body of people who have had a typical chickenpox or an unapparent infection. It made such a persistent infection, nerve ganglia located in the spinal or cranial nerve counterparts.

After chickenpox immune system is strong enough to prevent a relapse, but not enough to suppress virus persistence in lymph or nerve roots. Hence, given declining immunity (stress, intense exercise, trauma), infection can reactivate making a picture of herpes zoster. Herpes zoster is thus a reactivation of a latent infection with varicella-zoster virus (and not a reinfection), the clinical response primary is varicella and herpes zoster is the late manifestation of latent infection.

Contagiousness of herpes zoster is safe. Patient with herpes zoster can trigger an outbreak of chicken pox, if they are in contact with children susceptible to varicella. Disease is more common in adults and elderly (90%) and rarely occurs in children (5% of all cases).

Clinical picture

The onset of disease is varied, a few days is usually preceded by fatigue, headache, fever. The main symptom is pain, very intense, felt as a burning or stinging on a track that will appear rash. Strong pain precedes the rash appears, which can lead to errors in diagnosis (appendicitis, pleuritis) and may be accompanied by pain when touched. Pain may persist for weeks and even months, especially in the elderly which can also cause mental disorders. Inflammation of regional lymph nodes may also precede the rash.
When occurs, eruption is bordered in an area of skin, irritated nerves belonging to a sensitive nerve roots or nerve roots group (root distribution). Eruption stops at midline, lesions are unilateral. Initially there are some red spots that later turn into blisters. Vesicle content is disturbing, then dried, turning into scabs. They persist for 10-14 days, then off leaving a central depigmentation and peripheral hyperpigmentation.

Feature is the root of the eruption topography in shaped bands (regional aspect, the belt or strap) superimposed on the surface of skin sensory innervations of the root or roots affected by the virus (e.g. chest, neck, abdomen, limbs). Evolution of shingles lasts between 2 and 4 weeks to heal skin lesions.

Complications may be local (bacterial superinfection) or systemic – zoster pneumonia, laryngo-tracheitis, digestive manifestations (colic, intestinal paresis, pseudo-occlusive syndrome), encephalitis.
Prognosis in terms of healing is favorable especially in children and adults. Elderly people may remain for a long time with troublesome pain, and people with low resistance (neoplasms, corticosteroids) can spread herpes. Relapses are rare.

Method of treatment

Treatment is symptomatic and aims:
* Relief of pain – are recommended anti-inflammatory, painkillers, vitamins of group B;
* Prevention of bacterial superinfection – touch with menthol solutions, local antiseptic.
* Patients should be kept at rest and isolated for the first 7 days of illness. Eat a nutritious diet.
* Ophthalmic treatment of ophthalmic zoster is determined only by an ophthalmologist.

Prophylactic measures

In shingles are given the same preventive measures as in chickenpox. Every patient must be isolated from individuals susceptible to varicella (especially children). For responsive children and people “at risk” (immunodeficiency states) is used the administration of anti-zoster immunoglobulin prepared from plasma collected from herpes zoster convalescents or varicella in 1-2 weeks after rash onset.

Natural treatment for shingles with Calivita products

– By improving of the immune system function we can protect us against many diseases outburst. The content of natural extracts with immunostimulatory effects from Virago natural supplement helps us protect against viruses and bacteria attacks, and also help us to more easily pass the disease already present.

– Natural aspirin obtained from white willow extract -White Whillow natural supplement- help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation without the side effects of chemical aspirin.

– In case of emotional stress and anxiety we can trigger varicella zoster virus – as shingles. These states that put our health at risk can be managed with Stress Management B Complex nutritional supplement, with a complex action on the nervous system.

– Mega Protect 4Life protects against harmful factors around us, strengthen the immune system and promotes resistance, both physical and mental.

Stefania write blog articles for RetetaNaturista where you can find more details about Zona zoster and natural products from Calivita that can help you with this problem.

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