The Ring of Fire – With the approach of summer, people have an increased chance of contracting infectious skin diseases, because it is the ideal time for the growth and reproduction of bacteria and fungi due to the high temperature and humidity and the presence of various insects and parasites that cause many skin diseases and that contribute to the transmission of infection from one person to another.
We will devote this article, which we present to you through the “Sawa” news agency, to talk about one of these skin diseases, which is shingles, which appears in the form of vesicles connected to the sensory nerve, which leads to severe pain with burning sensation.
Fiery Belt disease
Shingles is a severe viral infection that affects the skin, and appears in the form of vesicles connected to the sensory nerve, which leads to severe pain with a burning sensation that takes the form of a red belt similar to fire, hence the name of the disease (shingles) according to the severity of the pain, burning and shape. Shingles is known by several other names such as herpes zoster and shingles.
Shingles is a skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox (Varicella-Zoster Virus). People who have had chickenpox are considered the most susceptible to shingles, and the reason lies in the virus staying latent in the nerve ganglia for months or years and is active in the event of weak immunity. Shingles is a contagious disease that is transmitted from an infected person through the nose, mouth, and contact with infected skin.
Symptoms of shingles
The virus usually affects one nerve on one side of the body. The most common symptoms of shingles include pain, burning, tingling, tenderness, and a severe rash.
The disease usually affects the nerves feeding the skin of the chest or abdomen and the nerves of the upper part of the face, specifically in the area of the skin around the eyes. Shingles usually takes the following course in the onset of symptoms.
At first, one side of the body is affected by sharp pain, fever, tingling, numbness, headache, general weakness in addition to itching, then a rash appears 1-5 days after the onset of pain and red spots develop into blisters filled with itchy fluid in the form of chickenpox.
In some cases, the rash may affect the face, eyes, mouth, and ears. In other cases, the blisters may merge to form a solid red spot that looks like a severe burn. In cases of severe immunodeficiency, that is, in rare cases, the rash spreads and covers many areas, such as chicken pox.
In cases where shingles affects the eye, it is called the optic nerve. Where the virus affects the eye nerve and causes painful eye infections. Continuing pain in the nerve of the eye may lead to swelling of the cornea and retina, or high eye pressure, glaucoma, and temporary or permanent vision loss.
The blisters usually last up to a week and may cause inflammation and swelling of the tissues under and around the rash. Then the blisters begin to gradually dry up, forming crusts, 7-10 days after their appearance. After the pimples disappear and the skin recovers, some light scars may appear in their place. It is usually treated using laser scar treatment, such as the Effix laser technique, the Fraxel technique, and other solutions.
Symptoms of shingles
Complications with shingles
Shingles is accompanied by some other complications such as muscle pain and weakness. If it affects the face, it may cause facial paralysis, difficulty moving muscles, taste problems, hearing loss, loss of ability to move the eye, and drooping eyelids. The patient may develop bacterial infections, lung infections, and brain and spinal cord infections, which are rare, life-threatening complications.
Methods of treating shingles
In many cases, recovery occurs spontaneously without treatment. The goal of treating shingles infection is to relieve symptoms, such as limiting the formation of new blisters, relieving pain, and avoiding the spread of the virus emerging from the blisters.
Common treatments include:
Medication: Acyclovir and Acyclovir are effective in treating shingles.
– Treatment of shingles by injection, treatment of shingles by injection is the best treatment, a generally safe vaccine recommended by many scientists and experts, the shingles infection vaccine was approved in 2006 AD for adults, especially the elderly.
Treatment with antivirals, antivirals help relieve pain, duration of the disease and prevent possible complications such as Zovirax Valtreks, Valacyclovir and Famciclovir, given to the patient within 24 hours of the disease, it is also recommended to use cortisone with antivirals to relieve nerve pain that lasts for a period even after elimination From the rash of shingles.
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, which help relieve swelling and pain.
Painkillers: Analgesics are used to relieve pain such as paracetamol, stronger analgesics such as oxycodone, stimulants, anti-epileptic drugs to treat seizures such as carbamazepine and pregabalin, and antidepressants to control acute pain, in addition to topical analgesics containing lidocaine or capsaicin.
Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, are used to treat itching.
– Personal care by the patient, the patient should avoid skin irritants such as woolen clothes and others, in addition to preserving the affected area to avoid bacterial infections, and it is preferable to moisturize the blisters with moisturizers that do not contain irritating substances for the rash, while maintaining daily hygiene and showering with cold water to calm the itching in addition to the possibility Use oatmeal while showering and soaking the body for 15-20 minutes in it without using hot water that irritates the rash.
– Peppermint oil treatment, researchers reviewed in many reports a number of cases that improved with the use of peppermint oil, and presented a success story in getting rid of shingles with peppermint oil for a 76-year-old woman who had been suffering for more than three years from the effect of shingles on the breast Right and upper arm, this woman suffered a lot from the use of painkillers, acupuncture treatments and useless medical sessions until she recovered with the use of peppermint oil.
Ring of fire prevention
Fortunately, scientists have developed a vaccine for the virus that causes shingles, especially for the elderly. There is no guaranteed protection against shingles, but vaccines offer the best chance of prevention.
The current Shingrix vaccine protects against shingles by 90% – 97% of people, depending on age, and prevents postherpetic neuralgia in about 90% of people.
Experts recommend taking the new vaccine even if the person had previously received the shingles vaccine, Zostavax. Younger people with immune system problems are also vaccinated.
Methods of prevention
– Paying attention to taking the chickenpox vaccine for children, because the main cause of chickenpox and shingles is the same virus.
– Taking the vaccine by people over the age of 50, although it does not prevent shingles, it significantly reduces the risk of shingles.
Do not touch the personal items of a patient with shingles unless they have been washed with boiling water.
Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
Maintain exercise and a healthy weight.
Get enough sleep.
People most at risk of shingles
Most people with shingles recover within several weeks as the rash clears up and the pain subsides. While some patients continue to suffer from pain even after getting rid of the blisters, which is called postherpetic neuralgia. It usually lasts for 30 days or more, making the patient more at risk of recurrent shingles.
About 12% of people aged 50 years and over continue to have postherpetic neuralgia for 3 months, especially older people. In addition to those who suffered from a severe skin rash, and those who had a ring of fire around the eyes, and in the case of a severe weakening of the immune system. It is also repeated in other cases, such as heredity, especially in females, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, cases of using immunosuppressive drugs, leukemia, lymphoma, high lipids, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Injury to the internal organs with shingles
In some cases, shingles does not appear as a rash. It affects the internal organs of the body and is called the internal shingles. It causes digestive problems and affects the arteries of the brain, leading to a risk of strokes, poor memory and cognitive decline.
Diagnosing internal shingles is more difficult than external shingles, which is diagnosed by the patient’s symptoms. The diagnosis of internal shingles may be mixed with a number of diseases, so the doctor needs to conduct some high-precision medical analyzes to detect the type of virus through DNA, such as Polymerase Chain Reaction analysis and many other analyzes.
This is the end of the article that we presented to you about shingles, symptoms of shingles, ways to treat shingles, and ways to prevent it.