Thursday, 22 August 2013

What causes shingles to activate

What causes shingles to activate, Shingles is the common name given to the viral disease known as herpes zoster. A skin rash or blisters that appear on only a limited area of the body characterize this ailment. Typically, shingles appear in the form of stripes. Initially, the virus affects young people in the form of chicken pox, but even after the ailment is treated, the virus doesn’t leave the body entirely. Many years after the episode of chicken pox, the virus emerges again with very different symptoms, in the forms of shingles.

What are Shingles?

The same virus, the varicella zoster virus (VZV) that causes chicken pox in young people is responsible for causing shingles in adults. This virus belongs to the herpes family of viruses. Shingles is a condition that manifests itself in the form of a skin rash across a limited area. This rash is quite painful and occurs because of various reasons, like intense levels of stress, cancer, or immune deficiency. The dormant virus cells in the person reactivate themselves, triggered by the causes.

Causes of Shingles

There are a range of causes associated with shingles. However, there is no surety as to what really causes the condition. It’s not about what causes shingles, but about the factors that actually activate the shingles virus that is lying dormant in the person’s body. Stress, especially of the emotional variety, triggers a process of reactivation. Another cause is fatigue. Even when you are suffering from shingles, fatigue or a general sense of malaise is a primary side effect of the condition. Sometimes a person’s immune system is weakened as a result of suffering from some diseases or the intake of medications. This could also be a result of aging or the result of addiction to various drugs. Such people suffer from shingles. A person suffering from cancer or undertaking radiation treatment for the same is also prone to shingles. Shingles is also a result of an HIV infection.

Symptoms of Shingles

The symptoms of shingles are dependent on the various nerves that it affects. Shingles as a medical condition can affect all parts of the body. The primary symptom of shingles is extreme pain in one side on the body. Either the sensation could be itchiness, a tingling sensation, a deep ache, or a person could also suffer from a lightning bolt like pain. Its quick, it’s extreme and is intensely painful. At times, a person could suffer from this kind of pain or symptoms near the face or the eyes. At such times, a visit to a doctor becomes critical. Other symptoms that a person also displays include headache, fever, itching, and chills.

These symptoms are followed by the appearance of the rash in the same areas that experience these symptoms.

Treatment for Shingles

If you think you are suffering from shingles, it’s important that you consult your doctor on an immediate basis. There are various shingles medications that can be prescribed to you but they are only effective if taken during the early stages of the ailment. Doctors can prescribe various topical creams or antihistamines that will relieve the itching associated with shingles. Also, painkillers will be prescribed in order to relieve the pain. Another way of treating shingles is that cool water compresses must be applied to the affected area for a minimum of twenty minutes. This should be done as many times in a day as is possible. Also, the affected area must be cleaned with water and mild soap. Health experts also suggest the application of petroleum jelly. This not only helps soothe the affected area but also helps in the healing process.

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