Shingles are a skin disease that has root damage in the nerves. The disease can cause painful pain if not treated early. The following article will help you learn about nerve shingles as well as how dangerous it is.
What Is Shingles?
Shingles is a common skin infection caused by the herpes zoster virus (Varicella-Zoster Virus or VZV). People infected with chickenpox, after being cured, Varicella-Zoster Virus still resides in the nerve nodes in the body but does not cause disease. They can last for months and years. When the body's immune system weakens, the body weakens or there is mental trauma, … Varicella-Zoster Virus will reactivate. They multiply and propagate through nerves, causing damage to the skin in that nerve area and causing shingles. Depending on the severity of the disease, the duration of the disease can be prolonged, usually about 2-3 weeks. In particular, nerve shingles can recur under favorable conditions, for people who have been infected with Varicella-Zoster Virus.
Is Shingles Dangerous?
The severity of the disease depends on the risk of complications as well as the condition of each patient. Most patients with neurological shingles usually recover in less than a month and leave no serious complications if treated early. However, in some cases, the patient does not comply with the treatment, causing severe illness causing dangerous complications such as vision impairment, vision loss, neuralgia, Ramsay Hunt syndrome, can even cause pneumonia, hepatitis, encephalitis, … life-threatening.
Is shingles contagious, and how does it spread?
The shingles can be passed from an infected person to a healthy person who has never had chickenpox before or has had a chickenpox vaccine. When exposed to the blisters on the patient's body, those who have never had chickenpox will be infected with Varicella-Zoster virus and at risk of developing chickenpox first and then may get shingles.
People who have had chickenpox will not get shingles from others.
People who have had chickenpox vaccine or shingles vaccination can still get sick due to a weakened immune system when sharing towels, towels, personal belongings, … with sick people.
Neuropathic shingles is not contagious when the blisters are dry and scaly.
Symptoms Of Shingles
Some of the signs of shingles are common today such as:
- The rash appears on the skin, and over time they form small or enlarged blisters. Focus in clusters along the distribution lines of the peripheral nerve.
- These blisters are usually clear at first, then gradually cloudy, pus, and rupture. Then dry and scab. When scabs can leave white scars for the sick person.
- When you get shingles, itchy sensations appear, even dull pain in the affected area.
Depending on the location of shingles as well as the disease status, the patient may experience additional symptoms such as tinnitus, difficulty hearing, headache, dizziness, photophobia, excretory disorder, fever, body pain, tired body …
Diagnosis And Treatment of Neurological Shingles
How to diagnose shingles
- Examination and physical examination in front and behind the patient's ear reveal small nodules. The skin of the outer ear canal is red, thick, and has many blisters.
- Visual acuity measurement is poor reception, the eardrum is swollen red.
- The blisters on the skin can become superinfected, causing the inflammation to spread to the outer ear canal, coronary cartilage, …
- The diagnosis of nerve shingles is mainly based on the clinical course and symptoms such as pain, blisters appearing in the nerve area, one side.
Treatment of nerve shingles
When signs of suspected infection appear, it is necessary to immediately need specialized medical facilities for early diagnosis and treatment. Early treatment reduces spread as well as shortens recovery time.
Neurological shingles treatment doctors usually appoint to use antiviral drugs (acyclovir) or use Zovirax drug dose varies with each patient's age.
If superinfection occurs, it is necessary to use more antibiotics anti-superinfection, anti-edema, anti-inflammatory … In the case of shingles with facial paralysis, doctors will prescribe to use more specialized drugs and Use high doses of vitamins B1, B12, and B6 by mouth or by injection.
When shingles last longer, causing more pain, you will use more pain relievers, sedatives as needed. Patients absolutely do not arbitrarily use these drugs but only use them when prescribed by a doctor.
In addition to oral drug treatment, nerve shingles are also treated in the blister area by applying anti-viral, anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain, anti-inflammation, and anti-scarring, and make the blisters dry and scaly more quickly.
Treatment with diet and activity
Neuropathic shingles, can shingle take a bath, … is a question of great concern. Because nutrition and daily activities have a great influence on the treatment of the disease. Here are some notes in the treatment of diseases with diets and activities that patients need to remember.
- To help the disease recover quickly and limit complications, you should abstain from foods such as high-fat foods, alcoholic beverages, refined grains, products made from chocolate, oats. .. In addition, when the skin is young, the patient should avoid eating beef, water spinach, and eggs because they can make it harder for the scar to heal.
- Need to increase the intake of foods rich in vitamin C such as fruits, green vegetables to increase resistance. Supplement foods rich in lysine found in fish, milk, cheese, legumes, … Supplement vitamins B6 and B12. Also need to provide the necessary amount of water for the body.
- People with shingles can bathe properly. For damaged skin areas, you should limit contact with water so that blisters dry out more quickly. However, it is still necessary to clean the skin to limit infection.
How To Prevent Shingles
To prevent the disease and limit the spread to others, the sick person should do the following:
- Chickenpox vaccination is an effective way to help you reduce the risk of nerve shingles.
- Having a healthy lifestyle and eating regimen will help the body have the best resistance and limit the chance of the virus from spreading.
- When you have nerve shingles, do not scratch or rub the blisters on your skin. That will prevent the blisters from rupturing and causing infection.
- The shingles area should be cleaned with a special cleanser or saline solution.
- When applying medication or caring for shingles skin, use a cotton swab. After that, you still need to wash your hands to avoid spreading to other areas. Minimize contact with other people. Especially those who have not had chickenpox vaccination, people who have not had chickenpox, children, pregnant women, …
- Rest at home, avoid strenuous work or vigorous exercise.
- Patients should spend a lot of time resting and relaxing so that their health can quickly recover and increase their resistance.
- Do not arbitrarily use oral medications or topical medications without your doctor's approval.
Shingles skin disease, although not a dangerous disease, but if subjective and negligible the disease can leave many serious complications. Preventive vaccination is an effective way to reduce the risk of disease. In addition, when detecting symptoms of suspected nerve shingles, patients need to immediately need specialized medical facilities to be examined and treated as soon as possible.
The above article hopes to provide you with the necessary information about shingles as well as how to prevent and treat the disease effectively.
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The site cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information. We encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals.