Shingles – Facts
The pain that accompanies shingles and is initiated by them brings about to the person in question a lot of unpleasantness and discomfort. Aside from being an eyesore, it is also an extremely aching sore. This condition represents one of the varieties of the rash, which affects the skin and which can be extremely painful. Another name it goes by as well is herpes zoster. As far as its nature is concerned, it needs to be pointed out that this condition, or infection, belongs to the group of those viral ones whose primary causer is none other but the virus known as varicella-zoster, and it is the same one that stands behind chicken pox as well. In case a person has already been under chicken pox influence, then he/she is most certainly to fall under the influence of shingles at least once in his/her lifetime. The functioning mechanism of the virus goes as follows – once a person gets infected by this virus for the first time, the immune system reacts immediately, and keeps the virus under control by putting it in a state of hibernation. But the real problem occurs once the immune system becomes weak due to some disease, because it is then that this virus awakens and starts to cause havoc, i.e. shingles.
When it comes to the target group, this infection is more prone to developing in people who are 50 years old and also above that point. In small children it is extremely rare. As stated above, the state of one’s immune system plays the most important role, which makes those people with a weaker one more prone to falling under the influence of this unpleasant infection. The weakening of the immune system can happen due to old age, certain severe health conditions (e.g. cancer) and infection with the HIV virus. It can also happen due to taking medications such as corticosteroids, which are known to have the potential to suppress immune system’s normal functioning.
The most frequently occurring manifestations include skin rash and pain which is localized. Area in which infection will show itself depends upon the infected nerve. Among the most commonly affected nerves are those of the abdomen, the chest and the face (especially the areas around the eyes). The goal of just about any treatment method is primarily the alleviation of the occurring pain and aching manifestations. For this purpose, most commonly employed are antiviral medicines, as well as short-term corticosteroid use in order to decrease the pain and inflammation. The most effective home remedies include the application of cold linings, the use of apple cider vinegar and lemon balm.