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How to Relieve Symptoms of Shingles

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful infection that affects the nerves of the body. It appears as a blistering skin rash, which is caused by an acute infection of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox.

After chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in certain nerves of the body. For reasons as yet unknown, the virus can become active again after many years, causing shingles. An adult who did not have chickenpox as a child will probably develop chicken pox rather than shingles if exposed to the herpes zoster virus.

Herpes zoster is much more common in adults over 60 years old, children who had chickenpox before the age of one, and people who have weakened immune systems.

The first symptom of shingles is often a one-sided pain, tingling, or burning that may be severe. Red patches then form on the skin, followed by small blisters that look like early chickenpox. New blisters continue to form for three to five days. The blisters break and form ulcers that turn into crusts that remain for two to three weeks. While the rash usually forms in a narrow band following the nerves from the spine to the front of the chest or abdomen, it can affect eyes, face, mouth, ears, or other body parts.

In addition to the pain and rash, some people experience:
* Abdominal pain
* Chills
* Difficulty moving facial muscles
* Drooping eyelid
* Fever
* Genital lesions
* Headaches
* Hearing loss
* Joint pain
* Swollen glands
* Vision problems

Herpes zoster usually disappears on its own without treatment. Sufferers may, however, need treatment to relive the pain. Physicians may prescribe an antiviral medication to reduce pain and complications and shorten the course of the disease. Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to reduce swelling and pain.

Cool, wet compresses applied to affected areas may reduce pain. Soothing baths and lotions, including calamine lotion, colloidal oatmeal, and Burow's solution, are popular shingles remedies that may relieve itching and discomfort.

Shingles usually clears in two or four weeks. Most people experience only one episode of shingles. However, if the virus affects the motor nerves, which are the nerves that control movement, temporary or permanent paralysis may result. Sometimes the pain may last from months to years. Called post-herpetic neuralgia, this complication affects 10 to 15 percent of people with shingles. Treating shingles with antiviral drugs may reduce the duration and occurrence of post-herpetic neuralgia. Other possible complications from herpes zoster include blindness, deafness, encephalitis, and sepsis.

Shingles is contagious. People who have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine should not touch the blisters of people with shingles or chickenpox. Once the blisters are crusted over the virus can no longer spread. Some doctors recommend the chickenpox vaccine for teenagers and adults who have never had chickenpox.

Shingles is an extremely painful viral infection. Sufferers may find relief from certain medications and soothing remedies. Although complications are possible, the disease usually runs its course within one month and does not recur.

To learn more about subjects like shingles please visit the web site at: http://www.how-to-cure-shingles.com

For more information and informative related articles and links about this subject matter and content, please visit Majon's Health Products | Health Vitamins | Dieting directory: http://www.majon.com/directory/health-products-health-vitamins-dieting.

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is a published author of Majon International. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2014 (Mon Jun 29 2009) Majon International. Majon International is one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing and internet advertising companies on the web. Visit their main business resource internet marketing web site at: http://www.majon.com

 

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