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The Shingles Virus: Are You At Risk?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

What Is The Shingles Virus?

It's a painful rash or group of blisters that usually have a pattern that resemble a band or strip that's located on the skin. These bands and strips can cover a relatively smaller area or it can cover a larger portion of the body.The sides of the body, the back and small areas of the face are all common places that people get the shingles rash. 

This condition is found in the elderly as well as people with weak immune systems that have been caused by certain medications, stress and injuries along with other reasons. The shingles virus can be treated and most who suffer from this discomfort do not experience any further complications once they're treated.

the shingles virus

Causes

The shingles virus is caused by the very same one that gave many of us the chickenpox when we were kids. Even though the chickenpox disappear, the virus is still in our system and it usually stays dormant (it stays in "sleep" mode). 

The virus isn't usually reactivated, but some individuals are unfortunate and the virus doesn't remain in "sleep" mode. This condition is not contagious unless someone with the virus comes in contact with someone who hasn't had chickenpox or has never had the chickenpox vaccine.

 

elderly woman

What Are The Symptoms?

The symptoms aren't always obvious. This virus happens in stages and if the signs go untreated, they get worse the longer they remain untreated.

First Signs To Look For

  • Headaches
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Flu-like symptoms without having a fever

More Advanced Signs Of The Shingles Virus

  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Isolated Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to Focus
  • Changes in Vision
  • Fatigue

The itching is likely where the rash is going to appear and usually happens a few days after someone experiences the first stages of the Shingles if they don't recognize them soon enough to get treated beforehand.

The rash turns into blisters that fill with fluid that eventually gets a dry, crust-like substance. It takes anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks for the blisters to heal and there is a possibility that the person can be left with scars.

elderly man

What Are Your Treatment Options?

The Shingles is treated by using antivirals medicines and pain medications. The medications must be prescribed by your doctor, so if you believe you may have shingles, contact your doctor right away. 

If you have a home health nurse that visits you, share your concerns with them and they will be able to get you the treatment you need. Taking these medications helps the rash heal faster as well as minimizes the pain while you're healing.

There is also a more concentrated method of treatment that's given in the form of a vaccine. This is a faster method that works better for the elderly that want faster pain relief.

How To Reduce Pain At Homepostherpetic neuralgia,

If you're waiting for your prescription and are suffering from pain, you can help minimize the pain by:

  • Not picking or touching your blisters. When they're left alone, blisters will fall off on their own.
  • Use a cold, wet compress and apply a deep moisturizing cream afterwards.
  • Soak the crusty substance on your rash with tab water to help relieve dry skin and minimize the fluids coming from your sores.
  • Ask your doctor about the best over the counter reams you can use to help inflammation.

Postherpetic Neuralgia, a pain that lasts after 30 days once the shingles has healed, can be treated by asking your doctor for treatment and should be used as directed.

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