Shingles – How to Diagnose, Treat, and Manage It with the Least Disruption of Your Life
Shingles are symptomized by a painful blistering rash, typically on the upper torso that can happen to anyone who has had chickenpox earlier. Typically, only those who are above the age of 50 are more prone to shingles. Getting yourself vaccinated will not necessarily prevent an attack of shingles but the impact will be less and the risk of serious complications like severe nerve pain is reduced. You can reduce the severity of the symptoms and the duration of the infection by taking an anti-viral medicine.
The Signs and Symptoms of Shingles
Those suffering from an attack of shingles will have an area of skin on one side that may itch, burn, tingle, or feel extremely sensitive; the symptoms last for around three days after which, a rash in the same area appears, which develops into blisters that turn yellow or blood red before they dry to form scabs and heal. The pain reduces as the blisters dry and heals, though it is not uncommon for it to last even for months after the rash has healed. The infection may be accompanied by headache or fever.
Diagnosis of Shingles
Due to its distinctive symptoms, normally a visual inspection of the skin and a few questions to the patient are enough for the diagnosis. To remove any doubt, a blister sample may be analyzed under a microscope in a lab or shop Elisa kits used for confirmation by the analysis of the blister fluid.
Who Can Get Shingles?
You must have suffered from chickenpox to get shingles; even after the chickenpox is cured, the virus stays within the body and may reactivate. Why it reactivates in some people and not in others remains unknown. Persons with a higher risk include those who are of the age of 50 or older, are suffering from some injury or ailment, experiencing severe stress, and have an immune system that is weak. Some diseases like HIV/AIDS and cancer and their treatment may increase the risk due to the weakening of the immune system.
Treatment of Shingles
Even without any treatment, the rash disappears within two to four weeks, as stated by https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/. However, since most people experience severe itching, tingling, numbness, and pain, treatment is recommended. Painkillers to address the pain as well as antiviral medicine if the diagnosis is made early are the best treatment. Sometimes for intense pain, nerve block injections may be needed. Ice packs, cool baths, as well as the application of calamine lotion can help to cool the rash. Wearing loose cotton clothing helps to reduce further pain due to friction. If the pain persists even after the rash clears, treatment with anesthetic creams, pain relievers, and anti-depressants may be considered.
Normally, most patients recover well quickly, however, in some cases, the pain and itching can last for months, even years. Patients can experience poor appetite, have trouble sleeping, feel extra sensitive to touch, and get tired easily. Blisters involving the eye may result in blurred vision, eye pain, and swelling. Blisters on the tip of the nose can signify underlying eye issues so a doctor must be consulted immediately.