definition Herpes zoster (shingles) is a viral infection caused by a reactivation of the varicella (chickenpox) is caused. The rash occurs in the rule, particularly in the thoracic region. Here, the rash takes the form of a belt at (Zona = belt). It is a disease that affects mainly older people (aged 60) and persons with weakened immune systems. Herpes zoster is a common disease. One reason is that a large part of the population has Variezellen (chickenpox). Reactivation is possible at any time. We point out that in certain circumstances the children of Herpes Zoster may be affected. The disease can be carried out without a prior chickenpox disease. Thus, the child gets an immunization against chickenpox. Epidemiology – Throughout Germany about 320000-400000 people of herpes zoster (shingles) are affected.
– In France, more than 100,000 cases of herpes zoster are known. In the United States there are about 500,000. It is important to know that about 90% of people are suffering in childhood chickenpox (which is a prerequisite to developing herpes zoster). 20% of adults fall ill later on Herpes Zoster. – About one third of people aged 60 who develop zoster herpes, suffering from post-herpetic pain. This is a strong and unpleasant pain. From the age of 70, the number may increase to 50% of cases. causes Herpes zoster is a disease which is caused by a DNA virus called varicella-zoster (VZV). To suffer from this disease, the patient in childhood must have come with the chicken pox pathogen in contact. This is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. The virus migrates to the nerve pathways along, and remains in an inactive mode. The following causes may be responsible for the reactivation:
– stress – Strong sunlight (on the beach, in the mountains, etc. ). – Serious health problem – A vulnerability of the immune system, especially for people who suffer from diseases of the immune system (e. g. AIDS). risk groups The following persons are among the groups at risk of herpes zoster disease: – People who are older than 50 years, some specialists suspect that all older people will suffer more than 85 years, once in their lives under shingles. ; – People with a vulnerable immune system. In this group are found as HIV / AIDS patients, people with cancer chemotherapy and all the people who are suffering from an immune disease;
– People who use medications such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressants. Please note that for an infection from Variezellen (chickenpox) is necessary in childhood. symptoms We distinguish a total of three different ligands phases of acute Herpes Zoster: infection In the first week of infection a direct contagion goes out by the patient. It is the acute phase of the disease (when the bubbles occur). However, the patient does not transmit herpes zoster, but the chickenpox (varicella virus). Pregnant women who have never contracted chickenpox should be extra careful and not to approach people with herpes zoster (during the acute phase). Read also complications of chickenpox in pregnant women. 1. Prodromalphase – Before the appearance of the rash In the first phase the following symptoms of herpes zoster may occur:
– Pain, tingling, burning pain of Neven (for example, a nerve along the thoracic region). The symptoms occur in a localized region of the body. – Sometimes there may be a slight fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. 2. Acute phase – During the eruption During the acute phase or the rash following symptoms are observed: – After about 2 to 3 days, small blisters develop on a red ground. This rash is formed only in certain parts of the body. In the beginning there is a clear liquid of bubbles, but darkens after a few days. Subsequently, form the vesicles a crust and eventually fall off. Until this cycle is complete, it may take 2 to 4 weeks. The rash occurs in the rule, particularly in the thoracic region. Here, the rash takes the form of a belt at (Zona means in ancient Greek Belt).
Herpes Zoster may also occur on the forehead, the cheeks, the face, the ears (zoster oticus), or around the eye area (Ophthalmology area). The most affected by the shingles zones and regions are the regions of the thorax (53% of cases), cervical (20%), trigeminal (15%) and the lumbosacral region (11%). In severely immunodepressed patients, such as HIV / AIDS patients, the affected area may appear diffuse. – Severe pain, sometimes unbearable pain in the region of rash occur. 3. postherpetic neuralgia – After rash – complications Herpes Zoster In some cases, herpes zoster can lead to complications. We speak of a post-herpetic neuralgia or post-herpetic pain (Zoster = shingles). This neuralgia (pain in the nerve) is a serious complication. This takes at least 1 month or several months. The complication arises as problematical in the elderly. Below are the typical symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia: – Pain, burning, burning in the area where the rash is.
– Permanent pain – Strong tenderness These complications of the disease can daily such as difficult sleeping or eating, and even in some cases lead to depression. It should be noted that, for a timely treatment the chances of curing the disease can be reached without complications. General note We note, in some cases, the symptoms of herpes zoster sometimes with those of an ordinary herpes disease (other viral infection) or appendicitis can be confused. diagnosis The diagnosis of a disease with herpes zoster (shingles) results from the anamnesis (medical history) of the patient. It can also be provided by the by the characteristic symptoms. In some cases, a pathogen must be. This is especially the case if the symptoms are not unique. Laboratory tests, which allow the identification of the virus are the PCR, ELISA, or immunofluorescence. complications The complications of herpes zoster disease can present itself as severe.
Particularly in the case of herpes zoster ophthalmicus, as risks to the cornea – the retina – nerve, etc. exist. In this case, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Herpes Zoster can also lead to post-herpetic neuralgia, which causes severe nerve pain. This is a deeply oppressive or smarting. When to doctor We recommend each patient a doctor immediately for a herpes suspected to consult zoster disease. It is extremely important as soon as possible to begin with an antiviral treatment, to achieve the maximum effect. When Herpes Zoster affects the eye area or pain occur, it is a medical emergency. treatment In case of illness of herpes zoster, it is extremely important as soon as possible to begin treatment. On optimal treatment is already after the first three days of the first signs. This measure helps to prevent complications that often occur in people over 50 years.
Below you will find all the treatments that may be prescribed by the attending physician. These treatments are effective against herpes zoster and the complications that may occur (for example, post-herpetic neuralgia). Treatments in a disease of Herpes Zoster – For the pain, antalgic agents such as Paracetamol, NSAIDs (Asperin, ibuprofen, . . . ), pain relievers such as morphine derivatives. – In order to prevent the multiplication of the viruses and to relieve the pain: aciclovir, valaciclovir, famciclovir, brivudine, etc. – To avoid pain and reduce the duration of symptoms: steroid. – Any antibiotics in topical form (cream, . . . ) to prevent bacterial superinfection.
Possible forms of treatment in case of complications (for example, post-herpetic neuralgia) for Herpes Zoster The usual drugs are usually anti-pain agents: – Acetaminophen or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Asperin, etc. ) – Tricyclic antidepressant (such as amitriptyline) – Local anesthetics (drugs or patches on the basis of lidocaine) – Anti-epileptic drugs (e. g. , gabapentin) – Corticosteroids (for example, prednisone) – Opioids (codeine, morphine, . . .
) [Source of the proposed drugs: translated from English by Xavier Gruffat from the health side “webmd. com”, 2007} medicinal plants In case of illness of herpes zoster, a doctor must be consulted. Typically a drug treatment (antivirals) occurs. However, medicinal plants can serve the pain to ease, caused by the disease. – Cayenne pepper, which may be used in the form of a cream or a patch. – Aloe vera, which is used as a gel, to alleviate the pain. We also note that envelopes of clay for treating herpes zoster serve. Try it for yourself: natural medicines against herpes zoster. Essential Oils for the care of shingles Dilute in a tablespoon of alcohol at 45 degrees Celsius, 5 drops of the following essential oils: lemon, cypress, basil, geranium, lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme.
Soak with this mixture a compress and wear them 3 times a day for 10 minutes on the bubbles on. Note: This treatment should be started at the onset of pain immediately: pain and fever usually disappear within 24 hours. Perform the treatment after healing a few days away to avoid a relapse. aDVICE It is extremely important for suspected herpes zoster, to begin treatment as soon as possible and to consult a doctor. The earlier the treatment, the better the chances of a cure without the occurrence of serious complications. – Strengthen your defenses. This can be done with the use of Vitamin C. – Avoid stress. Namely, this is one of the triggers for herpes zoster. To prevent anti-stress courses can be carried out. This can help to reduce stress, and thus prevent development of Herpes Zoster. – If you suffer from herpes zoster, be sure to avoid any contact with pregnant women or immunocompromised individuals, who were not suffering from chickenpox.
The chickenpox can contribute to the deformity of the fetus and in general lead to health problems. – Upon the occurrence of severe itching (for example, during an acute phase of herpes zoster), which causes insomnia, an H1 antihistamines can be used. This is freely available in pharmacies and can be taken as a supplement to traditional treatment. prevention Herpes Zoster Vaccination An agent for the prevention of herpes zoster is vaccination, the preventive administration of acyclovir or immunotherapies. Prior vaccination worldwide – In the US, the herpes zoster vaccine will by the authorities strongly recommend that if you are older than 60 years old. – In France and in Switzerland, the vaccination is not specifically recommended. Vaccination means Zostavax®. To be more specific, the herpes zoster vaccination in Switzerland is not in the vaccination schedule (Status September 2013). The health authorities have decided that the benefit to public health is limited. They also inform that the chickenpox vaccine (Varilrix®) has no effect against herpes zoster, because the viral concentration for zoster prevention is insufficient.
– In England a large vaccination campaign was carried out, in which the over-70s against herpes zoster could be vaccinated. Information on vaccination A large study, “Shingles Prevention Study”, was carried out with 957 people suffering from herpes zoster. It showed that a reduction of the typical pain by 62% and postherpetic neuralgia of were achieved by 67% by the vaccine. How to translate Herpes Zoster in other languages?