Herpes zoster: description of the disease and its treatment

Hello, dear readers! Today I will talk about what is herpes zoster. You will learn all about this disease and learn how to deal with it.

Personal experience

Опоясывающий лишай: описание болезни и ее лечениеYesterday I came 30-year-old man with symptoms such as pain, itching, burning, skin rash strange forms. I took one look at his problem, then I immediately said it was shingles.

The disease is not fatal, but unpleasant, occurs mainly in the elderly and individuals with immune deficiency may occasionally occur in children and in healthy people, but it takes a special reason.

Want to know how to treat, how it looks and why do I get shingles? Then read the article carefully.

30-year-old male, perfectly healthy, never suffering from the herpes came to me with the shingles. The only question I asked him – what in your life has been unusual lately?

He said that a month ago his father died, which was his strongest shock. Most likely, this stress provoked disease.

To diagnose shingles herpes zoster can be visually. If you ever see him, then with nothing to confuse. Look at the photo, remember what he looks like. This can happen to anyone!

What is a herpes zoster?

Опоясывающий лишай: описание болезни и ее лечениеThis is an extremely rare recurrence of such well known diseases as chicken pox. You had chickenpox as a child? Did you know that the herpes virus doesn’t go away after recovery?

Such viruses are not amenable to treatment, so remain for life. Why then do we get chicken pox only once in life?

It’s simple: after the virus attack our body produces strong immunity, which protects us from repeat attacks.

Therefore, immunity will be all right, virus-provocateur chicken pox we are not disturbed. But if in life something happens that weakens the immune system, and then there’s shingles, which, incidentally, can be:

  • on the face;
  • in region of ribs;
  • on the buttocks.

Why did the disease choose such places on the body in humans? But because a weakened immune system, the virus settles in the nerves located around the human body.

The virus of chickenpox prefers the trigeminal and intercostal nerves. During the re-activation of the symptoms of the disease arise exactly where inhabits its causative agent. Want to know what exactly the symptoms appealed to me patient?

Symptoms herpes herpes-zoster: what is it?

In the course of communication with the patient we found out that his disease began with such symptoms:

  • first, the temperature rose to 37 degrees and then it fell, then rose again;
  • feel a slight weakness, malaise, like the flu;
  • then the place where soon a rash, start to itch and hurt, though the pain was reminiscent of neurological.

A few days after these symptoms on the skin in a disturbing place appeared red itchy spots.

After three days on the spots jumped up herpes rash – small Valderice located close to each other strip. It all ached and itched, as if to touch, then burned.

If the disease is properly treated, the duration will be 1-2 weeks. During this time the rash will dry up, will reveal, will be covered with crust.

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Опоясывающий лишай: описание болезни и ее лечениеThen peel will completely disappear, and in their place are white marks like after any sores. After some time the color of the skin is completely equalized.

The only really dangerous symptom zoster herpes zoster is posteriza neuralgia.

Even after the disappearance of the rash the place where it is located, will continue to hurt, and is triggered by inflammation of the nerves located underneath.

Neuralgia – a very strong symptom. Some of my patients (often elderly) it lasts from several months to a year.

What to do if symptoms? Urgently go to the doctor, for example, to the dermatologist! A specialist will likely diagnose immediately without any tests and prescribe treatment.

I assigned the patient with herpes ringworm?

Treatment standard is the same as any other herpes. The main thing we want to do is lock the activities of virus-provocateur and a decrease in severity of symptoms.

It is taking antiviral drugs such as Famvir, Acyclovir, and Valacyclovir (selected something else, and if not suitable, then select another tool).

His patient I was prescribed Famvir, as at the present time this drug is considered to be the most effective. The rest is also worthy of attention, so let’s look at all of these drugs:

  • Let’s start with my favorite of Famvir. It was created on the basis of the first such medication – Acyclovir and equipped with enhanced security. You can buy it without a prescription is impossible, so do not even try to self-medicate! Antiviral is very toxic, to break the dosage in any case impossible. Famvir is taken at 500 mg (one tablet) three times a day for weeks. If a person has an immunodeficiency, then the dosage is increased by half.
  • Acyclovir is a classic, time-tested. To drink one pill 5 times a day to 7 days. Together with Acyclovir need to take vitamins, namely 1 and 12.
  • Valacyclovir is almost the same as Famvir, but the first designed specifically against the virus of chickenpox, but this one has a wide range of effects. Taken in shingles increased the dosage of 2 tablets three times a day. Pregnant and nursing not assigned.
  • Antiviral not to drink children under 12 years of age, pregnant and lactating due to possible side effects and high toxicity. What to do if a relapse of chicken pox happened to the baby?

    For the treatment of such diseases in children I recommend the use of symptomatic drugs, namely, antiseptics for the treatment of rash, fever and pain. By the way, they are accepted and in that case, if the disease occurs in adults.

    Additional symptomatic therapy

  • If the patient is immuno-compromised (due to HIV infection, for example), a leukemia or a similar disease, then it is necessary to take a human immunoglobulin. Usually it is administered once in a dosage of 5-10 mg intramuscularly.
  • To reduce the itching and pain of children and adults are assigned painkillers, such as Pentalgin Baralgin or. By the way, my patient takes the second drug and the effect he likes. If pain and similar symptoms of the disease become too strong, then are assigned to more serious anti-inflammatories and painkillers, such as Ibuprofen (for children), Naproxen, Ketoprofen.
  • Sometimes the disease becomes gangrenous pus that occurs because of a bacterial infection. This form of herpes zoster is extremely rare and happens in people with immunodeficiency. There are antibiotics with anti-staphylococcal effect – Erythromycin, Gentamicin. In addition, festered rash need to treat antibiotic ointments – Tetracycline, Eritromicina.
  • If the patient has epilepsy (my patient of whom I spoke above, such additional pathologies not, fortunately), then additionally appointed anticonvulsants – Gabapentin, for example.
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    National treatment: can I use?

    It so happened that my 30-year-old patient turned out to be a supporter of alternative medicine, so the first thing he asked: can I use people’s treatment?

    Unfortunately, against this disease folk remedies are powerless, but something they still can do.

    Using compresses them decoctions of medicinal herbs can speed up the healing process of the rash and relieve itching and the pain. What herbs to brew? I advise you, if necessary, to try the teas:

    • calendula;
    • elecampane;
    • wormwood;
    • tansy;
    • immortelle.

    The broth is prepared as follows: pour a spoonful of herbs Cup of boiling water, bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool. Then the tool needs to drain, moisten the cotton wool and apply on the rash. The poultice is kept as long as possible, you can do it overnight if you wish.

    Many people do not like to be treated, so sometimes I ask a question that I, as a doctor, do not particularly like: is it possible to do without treatment?

    I would not recommend to even try, because herpes herpes-zoster too many dangerous complications. If you did not want to try, here is a list of complications.

    Complications of herpes zoster

    Without treatment, shingles herpes zoster can go to:

    • paralysis;
    • viral pneumonia;
    • hepatitis;
    • Reye’s syndrome;
    • myocarditis;
    • keratitis;
    • arthritis;
    • serous meningitis, etc. (this is not a complete list of complications, you may encounter a sick person who does not want to be treated).

    By the way, is very important to observe the correct way of life in the treatment of herpes zoster. Want to know what you can and cannot do?

    Advice to people who are faced with herpes ringworm

    First, in any case can not be in the sun without protection in the form of clothing. This will exacerbate the problem and slow the healing process. Secondly, it is impossible to communicate with people who have not had chickenpox. This rule I want to pay a little more attention.

    Опоясывающий лишай: описание болезни и ее лечениеSo here we come to the question: is contagious or not a herpes? What do you think? And I will tell you that is contagious, but not for all.

    From herpes zoster herpes zoster is a very interesting distribution mechanism.

    If sick, would be to contact people who had chickenpox at the time, he will not catch it, and if healthy, then infection will occur, but not ringworm, and chickenpox.

    Simply put, the infected person will have exactly the chicken pox, not shingles? Why? The fact that the first flash may not be a relapse.

    What else can I do to speed up the healing process? His patient I was advised:

    • to eat right;
    • give up bad habits;
    • consume vitamins;
    • sports;
    • to strengthen the immune system by all available means.
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    Is it possible to bathe in shingles? We can wash, but be aware that in this way you can spread the virus to other areas of the body. The fact that the inside of the herpetic rash is a liquid in which the virus is just swarming.

    If during swimming you will violate the integrity of the rash, then its contents will fall into the water, and then to other areas of your body. To avoid this, you need to wash in the shower, not a bath, but if taking a bath, then add water a few crystals of manganese.

    Why chicken pox gives relapses?

    The reasons are many, but the main is the reduction of immunity. At the beginning of the article stated that my patient had lost a loved one and due to severe stress he had shingles.

    What other factors adversely affect the immune system? Here is a list of the main:

    • starvation, malnutrition, lack of vitamins;
    • hard work with regular lack of sleep;
    • chronic stress and exacerbation of chronic diseases;
    • major surgery, for example, organ transplantation;
    • infection that gradually kill the immune system, e.g. HIV.

    By the way, shingles is not as simple and monotonous as it seems. It has several forms, which I propose to consider. The shape depends on the severity of the pathology, and can also depend on the treatment.

    Forms of herpes zoster herpes zoster:

  • The gallbladder is small blisters on body appear huge, very disgusting.
  • Abortive symptoms completely absent, making it difficult to diagnose.
  • Hemorrhagic blisters are present inside the blood impurities.
  • The ear is developing in the ear passage and often ends with hearing loss.
  • Meningoencephalitis– affects the brain and often ends in death.
  • Gangrenous purulent form with tissue necrosis.
  • Fortunately, my patient was the most common relatively mild form of herpes zoster. By the way, the code of the disease according to ICD 10 is «B02».

    I think he will get rid of the disease completely, as the treatment we selected him correctly and properly.

    If the article was interesting and useful, then share the read with your friends on social networks and subscribe to site updates. I wish you never to know what is the recurrence of chickenpox, and if you do, then speedy recovery to you. Up to new meetings!

    Author: Ksenia Borisova (dermatologist)