Shingles (Zona)

Shingles (Zona)

Shingles: Any person who had chicken pox (Varicella) before may develop Shingles later. Varicella virus remains inactive in some of the nerves after person has recovered. When the virus becomes active again, it causes Shingles disease and it may be very painful. People who had chicken pox before have %20 chance of having Shingles disease.

Causes of Shingles

A temporary weakness of immune system may cause the virus to multiply and spread to the skin. It is more common in 50s but it may show up on kids too. Disease, trauma and stress may be thought as causes of Shingles. Diseases like Cancer and AIDS and their treatment weaken the immune system. Chance of seeing Shingles in these patients are higher. Shingles, which is less contagious then chicken pox, create a chance of being contagious in case of open wounds and direct skin contact. New born babies and people who have immune system problems have a higher risk. A person who catches the virus becomes chicken pox, not Shingles.

Symptoms of Shingles

Shingles is more painful than chickenpox and it is less itchy. Burning pain, itching and oversensitivity of skin are symptoms of Shingles. These symptoms which last 1 to 3 days continue until rashes develop. Shingles disease which usually appears in one area, sometimes cause fewer and headache. Rash transforms into blisters in two or three weeks. These blisters which are lucent before may seem yellow or bloody later. Blisters on the skin occurs concurrently with pain. Pain level is as high as feeling the need to take painkillers. If these blisters develop near the eyes, caution is advised because it may cause permanent damage.

Treatment of Shingles

Shingles disease disappears spontaneously in a couple of weeks. During this process painkillers and cold compress relieves patients. In case of early diagnosis (in 72 hours) an oral drug is prescribed. This drug will be given if Shingles is severe and it occurred near eyes. Antibiotics are administrated to patients whose immune system is weakening, which is good for symptoms like pain and itching even after blisters on the skin disappear. In order to prevent pain and swelling corticosteroids may be added to antibiotics.