Shingles herpes zoster although caused by the same virus that is associated with chickenpox, herpes varicella-zoster virus is an infection that attacks nerves and the surrounding skin. Shingles herpes zoster affects those people who have suffered the childhood illness of chickenpox have had the herpes varicella-zoster virus that remains dormant in the body until later on in life where it manifests itself again as shingles herpes zoster.
Shingles herpes zoster affects a small minority of children and around five percent of people in the UK although not usually until you are middle aged and those reported cases have all stated that shingles herpes zoster tends to appear on one side of a particular area on the body only, varying between the left and right.
Signs and Symptoms of Shingles Herpes Zoster
- Tingling sensation
- Pain in the abdomen
- Sharp stabbing pains
- Fairly high fever
- Confusion and Loss of memory
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Severe headaches
- Pains in your eye area
With shingles herpes zoster the abdominal pains usually begin and can be quite intense, the rash then appears within one week as blotchy red patches on the skin. The skin then blisters and becomes extremely itchy. The blisters then change in colour to a yellow and dry up to form scabs which if scratched at may leave a scar on the skin.
Extreme nerve pain often referred to as postherpetic neuralgia can also be present at the time of having shingles herpes zoster and is very uncomfortable sometimes it remains for months before it dissipates, some people still have postherpetic neuralgia for years after the shingles herpes zoster virus has gone.
Be sure to visit your doctor if you are concerned or if you develop any signs or symptoms of shingles herpes zoster virus especially if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Incubation Period of Shingles Herpes Zoster
The incubation period of shingles herpes zoster is anything between 7 – 24 days for the first signs to appear.
Treatment of Shingles Herpes Zoster
Although there is no actual cure or remedy for shingles herpes zoster it is still advisable to visit with your doctor where you can have medication prescribed that can ease the discomfort of the symptoms. The rash should be kept both clean and dry to avoid bacteria to infect the area and cause further problems. Less restrictive clothing is a good suggestion.
Painkillers such as analgesics can be bought from the chemist and can be used to reduce the aches and pains associated with herpes zoster.
For increased pain that is significantly more severe then a prescription can be obtained for antidepressants which work quite effectively with the pain associated with shingles.
Anticonvulsants are quite commonly associated with pain caused by herpes zoster too and they help t control seizures and fits like with epilepsy.
Antiviral medications may be prescribed to limit the virus and decrease the severity of the shingles, however the shingles virus cannot actually be killed off with any medication as it remains in the body indefinitely.