Herpes zoster (shingles): what is it, symptoms, causes and treatment
The one called as Herpes zoster it is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It has a high degree of incidence especially in adults and is characterized by the appearance of skin rashes in the form of blisters or warts through multiple areas of the body. Due to its more than notorious form, this virus is also known as shingles or also as " fire of San Antonio”.
This virus has the same composition as the chickenpox virus and therefore has a way of behaving something similar that can be spread through all the nerve ganglia that later become those bothersome herpes. Once this is known, we will go on to explain the main causes that may be behind the herpes zoster.
Causes of herpes zoster
In the first place, it goes without saying that this infection is usually taken in childhood through a series of reddish rashes known as chicken pox. Over the years, this infection can become a "breeding ground" for this type of herpes. From there, the causes that are behind this virus can be the following:
- Low immune system. Once the person's defenses stop working normally, this causes the appearance of herpes zoster. Hence, it is a more common infection in people of advanced age.
- Some medications when undergoing some treatments such as chemotherapy.
- Respiratory route Herpes zoster can be caught simply through inhalation through the respiratory tract. They are highly contagious and in fact the patient can infect other people from the first day of the appearance of the vesicles or rashes.
Symptoms of herpes zoster
Next we will emphasize the different symptoms that may be behind the herpes zoster, among which we can highlight the following. In the first place, a multitude of painful vesicles appear that are deposited by all the lumbar, thoracic nerves and even by the whole area of the eye socket.
As a result, it is very possible that large blisters are formed that can then explode or disappear in painful crusts. If they do not heal well, this can later translate into other more serious skin infections that should be treated as soon as possible.
Likewise, the appearance of these rashes can also cause disorders in our gastrointestinal system. There may even be headache symptoms accompanied by high fever and malaise in general. Finally, the intense pain also occurs in the entire area of herpes that may appear even before the appearance of the blisters.
What treatment is there for shingles?
There is no treatment that allows you to get rid of herpes zoster directly. Although there are others who are going to be able to help reduce their symptoms and part of the pain until the whole area heals naturally.
We summarize below the main medical treatments that are applied for the cure of shingles:
- Drugs of cutaneous application. There are many medications that can be applied directly to the skin in order to speed up the formation of the scab and thus herpes disappear as soon as possible. For this, liquids with diluted zinc sulfate are usually used.
- Eye drops for eye areas. If herpes zoster is affecting the entire area of the eyes, you must go to the ophthalmologist to prescribe an eye drop that serves to treat this infection.
- Avoid tight clothing. If herpes appear on the abdomen, flanks or buttocks, avoid wearing too tight clothing that can often cause the symptoms to worsen and the wounds caused by the eruptions take much longer to ooze.