Shingles is a varicella-zoster virus that also causes chickenpox in humans. It remains inactive in the nerve cells after having chickenpox in your body when the symptoms have disappeared. The virus reoccurs after years later in people as shingles, and not many people do not fully understand its reoccurrence. Shingle is derived from the Latin language for the word ‘girdle,’ which is derived from the way the disease appears in a belt manner on either side of the torso. Experts have reiterated that it often reappears in patients with a weakened immune system.
The disease often appears in the:
One in three Americans will get infected at least once in their lifetime. 68% of these cases occur to citizens above the age of fifty. 50% of these cases occur to citizens who are above the age of 85 years.
What are the signs and symptoms?
One of the early symptoms of recurring shingles is a burning sensation near the affected area. This is then followed by pain and a tingling feeling around the same area. After a couple of days, a red, fluid-filled blister starts to occur and break out. Other similar symptoms are:
- Hypersensitivity of the skin around the affected area.
- Flu-like symptoms
The condition often occurs in the same place in the body, with 45% of cases appearing in a different place on the body than the initial time.
What is the Frequency of it recurring?
Data shows a meager return of the condition. A study proved that at least 6.2 % of people got the disease as a second recurrence. The researcher suggested that getting it the second time is equal to getting the disease the first time. The same study showed that it would take a minimum of ten months to ten years to detect the initial signs and symptoms. It was also noted that with time the chances of the second recurrence are higher than the first time. A study showed that the odds of getting the disease might be at least 5% within seven years.
Who may be at risk of getting the disease?
It is more likely that you may get it if:
- You are fifty years and above.
- The pain that occurred on the initial symptoms lasted more than thirty days. This is referred to as post-herpetic Neuralgia (PHN).
- Have a general weak immune system.
- Are on strong medication that may suppress the immune system.
- Have HIV/AIDS.
- You have had an organ transplant in recent years.
- You are undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
- You are having large intakes of Prednisone.
A study done showed that people with weakened immune systems are two and a half times more likely to suffer from it than people with normal immune systems.
What is the remedy?
The treatment for the disease is that of chickenpox. Famvir, Valtrex, and Zovirax can be used to treat the severity of the condition. Shingle’s ointment can also be applied to the affected areas to reduce the intensity. The topical ointment for shingles may be used to help reduce itching. The shingles ointment is effective in bringing relief. A skin patch that contains a painkiller can be used for a specific amount of time to reduce the pain. Antidepressants can be used to relieve the pain in the affected area.
How can we prevent it?
It is as easy to prevent by applying the shingles ointment, but also a vaccine can be induced to reduce the risk of occurring. Topical ointments for shingles tend to reduce the intensity of the itch on the body.