Shingles, or herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus. The initial symptoms of shingles are numbness, pain and a rash, followed by pain after the lesions heal.
Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, which remains in the body and can be reactivated later in life, often causing a painful rash and nervous system complications that will heal over time.
A sensation of numbness or burning, tingling pain is the first symptom of shingles. The first physical sign of shingles is a rash, followed by pain after the lesions heal (in about three to four weeks). If left untreated, complications from shingles involve headaches, postherpetic neuralgia and paralysis.
Shingles can leave blisters and redness, which are usually localized to one side of the body, torso or extremity. Since the blisters can pop, bacteria can enter the open sores and cause infection.
The shingles virus lies dormant in the spinal ganglia. When reactivated, lesions form on the skin and nervous system; lesions on the nerves also result in scars, which account for unrelenting pain (postherpetic neuralgia).
There is no cure for shingles. Antiviral medication is prescribed to reduce the severity and duration of outbreak.
Over-the-counter analgesics are effective in managing mild pain. Prescription pain relief for severe neuralgia includes topical capsaicin (creams and ointments) and lidocaine patches.Tags: after lesions, after lesions heal, Damage Shingles, followed pain, followed pain after, lesions heal