Shingles, shingles are the names of the same disease. Both terms are equally common. And if doctors most often talk about herpes zoster, then the definition is widespread - deprive. The disease has severe symptoms and is quite difficult to treat.
Herpes Zoster: Causes
The causative agent of shingles is the herpes virus type 3. It can provoke not only shingles, but also chickenpox. It should be noted that chickenpox will be the first manifestation of the virus. After which, the chickenpox is formed lifelong immunity. The virus goes into the area of nerve endings and no longer manifests itself.
And only under certain unfavorable circumstances can he return, but already in another form - shingles. The provocative factors include strong and persistent stress, a significant decrease in the immune status, for example, in HIV and AIDS, tumor processes, receiving chemotherapy or radiation, taking drugs that reduce immunity, etc.
The disease can manifest itself in people of almost any age, with the exception of children. As mentioned above, shingles can get sick only after suffering chickenpox. But patients with this disease are dangerous to others in terms of infection with chickenpox. The virus itself spreads through airborne droplets and is highly contagious (contagious).
Symptoms of viral disease
Herpes zoster is an acute viral disease that has a number of characteristic signs. First of all, it is specific herpes sores on the skin, which are located along the nerve endings. The rashes themselves appear in the place where the herpes virus is located.
Like any infectious disease, shingles has its own incubation period. A couple of days before the onset of the disease, a person notices increased fatigue, weakness, the body temperature rises, but not significantly (37 - 38 degrees). Gradually, new symptoms are added to these symptoms, namely, burning, itching in the place where there will be rashes. After there is severe pain along the nerve endings.
The onset of the disease is acute - a sharp increase in body temperature to about 39 - 40 degrees. In addition, other manifestations of intoxication are characteristic. An increase in body temperature is associated with a rash, which also has its own stages of development. At first, these are small spots of pink color, after a couple of days, groups of bubbles with transparent contents form on the site of these reddenings. As a rule, the rash is unilateral and has a favorite localization.
The most common manifestations of shingles are recorded on the face, along the branches of the trigeminal nerve. Also in the intercostal space, less frequently along the nerves of the lower and upper extremities, in the genital area.
After rashes and the complete formation of a herpetic rash, after a few days, the bubbles begin to dry out, and in their place crusts form, which disappear after 3 - 4 weeks. This is a clinical picture of a typical form of the disease. But there are some others, such as the bullous form, which is characterized by the merging of lesions between themselves, and their contents are hemorrhagic in nature. When immunodeficiency can meet a generalized form. When, after the appearance of rashes, new vesicles spread over the entire surface of the skin and mucous membranes.
In addition to rashes, the main clinical sign of herpes zoster is pain, which occurs due to nerve damage to the virus. The pain can be different - burning, paroxysmal, with increased at night. In addition, there can be registered skin sensitivity disorders in the affected area, muscle paresis (restriction in movement), which are innervated by infected nerves.
The pain persists throughout the course of the disease, can be felt for weeks, months, and even years. It is enough just to provoke it - stress, hypothermia, etc. But after the first episode of herpes zoster begins a period of stable remission, relapses are possible after a long time.
Herpes zoster in children: features
As a rule, herpes zoster is not registered in children under 10 years old, which can be explained by several reasons. First, it is during this period that the most frequent incidence of chickenpox is recorded, and, as you know, it is the same pathogen, and chickenpox (chickenpox) will still be a priority.
Secondly, the child’s immunity can easily cope with the virus and keep it in a sleeping state. The exceptions are children with immunodeficiencies and cancer patients who are undergoing a course of regular treatment.
For these reasons, babies are practically protected from shingles. But it is important for parents to remember that there are always exceptions. In the event of the appearance of herpes symptoms in a child, it is necessary to urgently consult a doctor!
How to be treated?
- Therapy is always prescribed by the doctor depending on the severity and severity of the clinical symptoms. The main treatment is aimed at alleviating the patient's condition, namely reducing the symptoms of intoxication and pain sensitivity.
- Quite strong analgesics are prescribed for anesthesia, from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Nimesulide, Meloxicam, etc. Antihistamines can be prescribed to relieve itching.
- In addition, it is necessary to use antiviral drugs, the best known is "Acyclovir" and its analogues. Usually, ointment is prescribed - for topical use and tablets for oral administration. Together, this drug allows you to quickly translate the virus into a "sleeping" state. In addition, medications are needed to increase the body's resistance - improving immunity. As a rule, these are immunomodulators, vitamins.
- Antiseptics (Calamine-lotion, Zelenka) are prescribed as topical treatment, and for treatment of the affected skin and keratoplasty, for quick healing and restoration of the skin (sea buckthorn oil, oil solution of vitamin A, solcoseryl).
- Particular attention should be paid to personal hygiene, otherwise there is a high likelihood of attaching a secondary infection. During the period of illness, it is recommended to observe sparing mode of activity, in some cases, bed rest. The nutrition of the patient must be balanced and rich in vitamins.
Possible complications and consequences
It is worth noting that complications are not common and are more characteristic of immunocompromised persons. Among them are the following - paresis of the limbs and a slight decrease in sensitivity. If the virus spreads throughout the body through the bloodstream, it is possible that viral pneumonia, hepatitis, etc. may occur. The most common complication is the addition of a secondary infection.
Among the consequences are also often and rarely encountered. Unfortunately, postherpetic neuralgia is a common occurrence - intermittent local pain that occurs after the disease. In case of defeat by the virus of the facial nerve, approximately 1/3 of the patients have paralysis of this area.
Shingles is a serious illness with an acute and severe pain reaction. There are no clear recommendations on the issue of prophylaxis; this is probably one of the few non-preventive pathologies. The only thing that can be advised is to monitor the proper and complete work of immunity.