What is Herpes Zoster?
Herpes zoster, most commonly known as Shingles, is a viral infection that can cause a painful rash. While it is not as well-known as other forms of herpes, such as herpes simplex, shingles are no less serious.
Shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in their body. However, it can reactivate later in life and cause shingles. Shingles usually affect people over the age of 50, but anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. The risk of shingles increases as people get older. Since there are various kinds of treatments for shingles, patients can opt on how they want to tackle their shingles condition.
In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about this shingles virus. We will cover the symptoms of shingles, the ways you can tackle it, and how to prevent the virus from spreading. Read on for more information!
What type of Herpes Zoster conditions are there?
There are two types of shingles:
- Herpes zoster oticus
This type of shingles affects the ear and can cause hearing loss, vertigo, and tinnitus.
- Herpes zoster dermatomal
This is the more common type of shingles, and it affects a specific nerve. It can cause a painful rash that can last for weeks or even months.
What are the symptoms of Herpes Zoster?
The most common symptom of shingles is a painful rash. The rash usually appears on one side of the body, in a band-like pattern. It can also cause itching, tingling, or burning. Other symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to light
How do you overcome Herpes Zoster?
There are several treatment options available for shingles. These include:
- Antiviral medications
These can help to shorten the duration of the virus and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
- Pain relievers
Over-the-counter pain medications can help to ease the pain associated with shingles.
- Topical treatments
Several topical treatments can be used for shingles. These include lidocaine, which can help to numb the pain, and calamine lotion, which can soothe the itchiness. You can also use ointments as a treatment for shingles.
Can I improve the symptoms of Herpes Zoster at home?
Some home remedies can be used as a form of treatment for shingles. These steps may help to relieve the symptoms of shingles:
- Apply a cool compress to the affected area
- Take a lukewarm bath
- Use lotions or cream to moisturize the skin
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Get rest and sleep
How can I prevent Herpes Zoster?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent shingles:
- Get the chickenpox vaccine.
This can help to prevent the virus from reactivating later in life. If you’ve already had chickenpox, you can get a shingles vaccine. This can help to prevent the virus from reactivating and causing shingles.
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching or scratching the rash.
This will help to prevent the spread of the bacteria to other people. Touching another person right after touching a shingle rash can cause them to develop chickenpox.
- Keep the affected area clean and dry.
This will help prevent the spread of the virus and reduce the risk of infection. Keeping your shingle infection dry will also help to speed up the healing process.
- Use a cool compress or take a cool bath.
This can help to relieve the pain and itching associated with shingles. Avoid using hot water, as this can aggravate your shingle rash.
- Wear loose, breathable clothing.
This will help to prevent the spread of the virus and reduce discomfort. Wearing tight clothing does not give your shingle rash space to “breathe” and can provide you with a more problematic condition to tackle.
These are some ways you can prevent shingles, however, you should still consult with a medical professional to see if there are any other recommendations they may have.
Shingles can be a very painful condition, and the sooner it is tackled, the better. If you have any further questions about shingles, be sure to speak with your doctor. With the right treatment, shingles can be a manageable condition. Do not hesitate to seek medical help if you think you may have this virus. Early treatment is key to preventing serious complications.