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Shingles Symptoms and Treatment

 

Shingles is a painful skin condition that usually affects one side of the body. Symptoms include a red rash, small groups of fluid-filled blisters, and flu-like symptoms. Eventually, the blisters dry up and form scabs. Some people experience pain long after the scabs fall off. These are known as postherpetic neuralgia. Read on to learn about the symptoms of shingles and how to treat them.
Painful rash

A painful rash is a symptom of Shingels, a viral disease. The symptoms of shingles usually occur on one side of the body in a band that corresponds to a nerve that transmits signals. The rash is localized and does not spread. It appears on the face and torso. Blisters may be close to the eye and may result in vision loss, hearing loss, and even temporary facial paralysis. In severe cases, the rash can spread to the brain, resulting in encephalitis.

Because shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, it is not contagious. However, it is important to protect yourself from spreading it to other people. Those who have shingles should avoid sharing towels, participating in contact sports, and staying home for several weeks until the last blister dries. People who have shingles should also avoid work or school until their rash has healed and has formed a scab.

Other than the rash, Shingles patients may experience tingling and burning sensations. The blisters are similar to the lesions of chickenpox and develop on a small area of skin supplied by the involved nerve. Sometimes, the blisters appear along the entire nerve path or just in specific areas. In any case, the blisters crust over and disappear over time. Shingles episodes usually last two to four weeks, and they may last weeks. Symptoms of shingles include a painful rash, tingling, and itching. Although the rash is the most common symptom of Shingles, the blisters may remain for months or even years.

Pain

Pain caused by shingles can be effectively treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as paracetamol or codeine. Your doctor may also prescribe opioids or antidepressants for the pain. These medicines can help relieve the pain but should not be used as the sole treatment for shingles. Your doctor may also prescribe anticonvulsants to help prevent postherpetic neuralgia, a serious complication of the disease.

The rash usually appears as a stripe of blisters on one side of the body. In rare cases, the rash can occur on the face, neck, or eye. If the infection is severe enough, it can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness. The risk for developing shingles increases with age and a weak immune system. The disease is painful and widespread and is accompanied by fever. Shingles symptoms include pain, tingling, and burning in the affected area.

As with any illness, the pain and rash that accompany shingles are unique to each individual. The severity of the pain and rash vary from person to person, but you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Antiviral medicines are available to treat the infection. Treatment can help you heal faster and more comfortably. Shingles is not contagious, but if it is found early, you can take antivirals to treat it.

Complications of shingles

A patient with shingles should visit a doctor as soon as possible. The symptoms of shingles may include blisters that are near the eye, face, or ears. If the blisters break, bacteria can get inside, resulting in serious complications, including blindness, hearing loss, and eye infection. Antibiotics can help the skin heal and prevent scarring. Complications can also result from the rash itself.

The most common complication associated with shingles is postherpetic neuralgia, or PN. The complication is characterized by pain that lasts months to years after the rash has healed. Because the nerves are damaged, this condition can be very painful and difficult to manage. People may even experience depression or disabilities. Most people only develop shingles once in their lifetime. If left untreated, shingles can cause permanent disability and even death.

People who have weakened immune systems are more likely to develop shingles. Some types of illnesses impair immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS, and certain medications. Patients receiving steroids or undergoing organ transplants are also at increased risk of developing shingles. Additionally, people suffering from depression or autoimmune disease are more prone to developing this infection. As a result, patients with shingles should consider taking anti-depressants to prevent further complications.