Shingles: symptoms, treatment and consequences of disease
Good day to you, dear friends! If you have had chickenpox, we can develop shingles is a dangerous pathology with a lot of complications that can turn a healthy person into a disabled person. Let’s examine this pathology in detail, to be able to notice it at early stages and know how it is treated.
What is it?
Herpes zoster or shingles is an acute viral disease, accompanied by a rash on the epidermal cover (she had a special appearance) and CNS lesions.
Damage to the nervous system can be so serious that ill become disabled or even die (at the present time, in rare cases). This disease is triggered by the same virus as chicken pox.
That’s what the above pathology related. If a person has had chickenpox, then again, she will not develop, but under certain conditions which may appear shingles herpes zoster.
Code according to ICD 10 herpes zoster/herpes: «herpes zoster [herpes zoster] (B02)». What could trigger this?
What triggers shingles?
The causative agent of the above pathologies is a microorganism virus type «Herpesviridae – Herpesvirus Varicellae».
Contagious? Of course, contagious, but only in certain cases and develops the pathology is very unusual. The causative agent is unstable prior to the influence of many environmental factors:
- when heated dies for 10 minutes, and while boiling — immediately;
- quickly dies under the influence of any UV rays (natural sun or artificial lamp);
- does not tolerate handling disinfectants, and bleach.
Low temperature for pathogen safe. Even with repeated freezing and unfreezing it remains viable.
Who could get sick?
To get sick can not all, and only persons who have had chickenpox in the typical or latent forms. The outbreaks from herpes zoster/zoster no. The incidence of sporadic and spontaneous.
Most often the disease affects the elderly, but can happen in adults and in children with severely weakened immune systems.
An interesting feature of the virus: what if contact with the patient?
If a healthy person (regardless of age) who do not have chickenpox in the past, will be in contact with patients with herpes zoster, then he most likely will develop a regular chickenpox. Because of this features herpes zoster is called «contagious infection.»
This will not happen immediately, as the provocateur long incubation period of 20-21 days. The virus is spread through the air and in the liquid, which is filled with elements of the rash.
Causes of herpes zoster/zoster
The basic cause of this pathology have been ill with chicken pox is the sharp or chronic weakening of the immune system.
To understand the mechanism of development, need to know what happens in the body after getting rid of chickenpox.
After suffering from chicken pox recovering, his body remains a certain number of viruses. These virus moving into the nerve ganglia and settle there.
For many years, and even decades, they will not be disturbed by the carrier, but at some point, if conditions are favourable, the provocateurs will come to life again and cause shingles.
To provoke the awakening of a virus herpes zoster can such unfavorable factors as:
- emotional tension — stress, depression;
- overcooling or overheating;
- reduced immunity due to long-term medication (antibiotics and hormones);
- infectious bacterial and viral diseases carried over up without treatment;
- reducing the protective properties of the immune system by natural causes — old age;
- HIV at any stage and AIDS;
- cancer of various pathologies.
Shingles/herpes develops specific, so diagnosing it is simple enough. Because of specific symptoms diagnostic of this pathology is carried out only visually, since such diseases do not exist.
Let’s look at the herpes symptoms of herpes zoster, in order to notice it.
Symptoms of shingles/herpes
The disease develops in several stages. These stages may be distinct or blurred (invisible transitions). The primary symptoms are:
- weakness, drowsiness and headache;
- easy chills and fever;
- temperature rise to subfebrile values;
- possible signs of intoxication as nausea and disorders of the chair.
In parallel with these symptoms there is discomfort on the skin, which in the future will appear rash. Rash jumps up in the course of nerve trunks mostly on the body. The first few days in this place, you may experience swelling and burning and itching.
Then comes the stage of clinical manifestations (acute). At this stage the temperature is subfebrile stand, there are striking signs of acute intoxication. In addition, in the area of the affected nerve swells up the rash on the skin. Listed below are features of herpetic lesions:
- first patches are formed pinkish-reddish with a diameter of 2-5 mm;
- 24-48 hours in the place of the spots jump Valderice with transparent content, are located densely.
Examples of the rash in shingles/herpes you see in the photo. By the way, zoster disease called due to the fact that the rash resembles a belt or a ribbon. Sometimes Valderice jump on the face, or rather the skin over the trigeminal nerve. In most cases they appear over the ribs. In addition, it is possible to lose the upper and lower extremities, the genitals.
Many suffering from increased regional (located near the affected area) lymph nodes. They become painful, fixed, hot.
In a few days the rash ripens and bursts, and in its place formed thick scabs, which fall naturally in 2-3 weeks, if not injure.
When the body temperature is normalized, the patient will immediately disappear signs of intoxication. The above symptoms are typical for classic (typical) herpes zoster/zoster. What other forms exist?
Forms and varieties encircling herpes infection
Necrotic or gangrenous — develops only in individuals with a critically weakened immune systems. The skin is affected profusely and deeply, on a rash scars are formed.
Such pathology can join the secondary bacterial infection that complicates treatment.
Meningoencephalitic is the most severe and dangerous form. Fortunately, it occurs very rarely. More than 60% of ill die from it. In the course of the disease strongly affects the Central system of nerves, and can suffer brain.
Symptoms more reminiscent of meningoencephalitis — hallucinations, ataxia, hemiplegia, coma. The disease can develop into this form in just a couple of days.
Generalized — rash spreads to all parts of the body, there are small scattered pockets, is more like a windmill.
Abortive — rashes spontaneously appear and disappear quickly, without turning into papules.
Additional symptoms of herpes zoster — neuralgic
- burning pain on the affected epidermal conditions, mainly during sleep;
- loss of sensation in the affected area;
- pain in the muscles located beneath the infected epidermis.
Most worryingly, these neurological symptoms may not take place for many months and even years after recovery. After the first manifestation of infection, a period long pause. Relapses occur in very rare cases.
What happens if the disease is ignored?
Ignoring his condition, ill provoke serious complications. Shingles herpes zoster is directly connected to the Central system of nerves, therefore, the most common complication is paralysis.
In addition, the disease can go into pneumonia, hepatitis, and hit the duodenum, bladder, and other organs.
If the rash is located on the face, paralysis of the facial nerve is exposed, causing broken facial expressions. In addition, may suffer vision and hearing. If a rash will be bacterial infection, then there is suppuration and tissue necrosis.
What to expect ill?
Modern professional treatment of herpes zoster/zoster allows to obtain a favorable prognosis.
Full recovery and lasting remission is possible with all forms of the disease, except meningoencephalitic. This form, as mentioned above, very often leads to death.
Treatment: how is, to what expert to turn to?
With the suspicion of such pathology need to consult a dermatologist. By the way, on this website you can ask a specialist online. The doctor will make an exact diagnosis after a visual inspection, as shingles herpes zoster the impossible with something to confuse.
Now let’s get to the fun part — the treatment. Are you curious about how to treat this kind of herpes infection? Treatment is symptomatic — aimed at dealing with symptoms. It is chosen based on the shape and course of the disease. For the treatment are different drugs:
Specific prevention of herpes zoster/zoster no. Prevent disease to help regularly strengthen the immune system, as well as the correct healthy lifestyle.
If you had chicken pox in childhood or in adulthood, try to treat other infectious diseases, eat right, exercise and give up bad habits.
According to many experts, the most effective way to strengthen the immune system is hardening of the body. To harden gradually, preferably in early childhood. The simplest method of tempering is a douche. If you choose this method, then reduce the water temperature gradually.
In old age, when the likelihood of developing herpes zoster/herpes becomes maximum, the best preventive method is exercise. The elderly often stay in the fresh air, exercise easy or safe sport.
In autumn and winter, when there is outbreak of SARS, drink vitamins, and prophylactic antiviral medicines. To date, antivirals for prevention in a wide range. Consult your doctor and choose the right for your body.
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Author: Anna Derbeneva (dermatologist)