Treatment of shingles (herpes zoster) & postherpetic neuralgia
What is shingles (herpes zoster)?
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a tingling, prickling, painful rash on either side of the body. These will become red and form blisters in a single stripe. It is caused by varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Therefore, those who have had chickenpox may also get shingles. When factors such as old age, stress, and fatigue cause one’s immune system to weaken, this may trigger the virus to become active again, causing shingles.
An antiviral drug is used to prevent the varicella virus from spreading. You may also be prescribed with external medication or painkillers in order to avoid secondary bacterial infection. You may experience “postherpetic neuralgia,” a persistent tingling feeling in your skin even after the symptoms on your skin have disappeared. This occurs when the virus is attacking the nerves and can be treated with pain killers. Early treatment is important in suppressing this postherpetic neuralgia. If you think you have shingles, please consult the doctor as soon as possible.
There is a vaccination for shingles for people over 50 years old. Those who have had chickenpox are immune to the varicella-zoster virus, but the immunity decreases with age. The vaccination helps to heighten immunity and prevent shingles. Although it does not prevent it 100%, reports show that symptoms can be alleviated. If you are considering getting the vaccination, please consult us.