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Shingles is a painful condition that originates from a virus, varicella zoster. The varicella zoster virus produces the common childhood illness, chicken pox. Shingles is a result of the virus remaining dormant until it re-emerges as varicella herpes. Unlike chicken pox, shingles is a chronically recurring disease that can affect infected individuals for a long time. Shingles is also a more painful disease, resulting in painful rashes, weakened immune system, and nerve damage.

Why Do Some People Develop Shingles?

There is no scientific consensus on why some people eventually develop shingles and others do not. Typically, the immune system destroys the virus following a chicken pox episode. In some individuals, a portion of the virus remains in the spinal cord to return as shingles later in life. This disease is much more rare than chicken pox. Though it is hard to determine exactly who will end up with shingles, almost all cases occur in individuals over the age of 50. There is also some evidence that those with a weakened immune system are more likely to develop shingles.

Shingles Vaccine

The shingles vaccine is approved for use in individuals over 50 years of age. Like other vaccines, it works by releasing antibodies to help fight the disease. This vaccine helps reduce likelihood of contracting shingles by up to 50%. In addition, those who already have shingles may be treated with the vaccine. Although this will not cure the disease, administration of the shingles vaccine can help relieve nerve pain associated with this disease.

Shingles Treatment

Unfortunately, shingles cannot be cured. However, there are some treatment options to help minimize the effects of this disease. Upon initial diagnosis, patients are typically prescribed an antiviral medication to help reduce the duration of the outbreak. Over the counter analgesics, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can be used to relieve shingles pain. Some individuals experience pain beyond the initial discomfort. In addition to over the counter analgesics, patients with chronic shingles pain may use anti-depressants, stronger pain medications, such as opioids, and topical anesthetics to deal with rashes.

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Q: Initial and Ongoing Shingles Treatment ?
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Related questions

Does gold bond medicated powder help shingles?

You can use Gold Bond on shingles to help relieve the itch. It is not to be considered a treatment for shingles though.

What do you do if shingles reoccur a week after treatment?

If you have shingles that recur only a week after treatment, you should seek further treatment. This very painful condition will eventually go away on its own, but treatment can help to shorten the length of time you must put up with the pain.

What is a known treatment for shingles?

Shingles is like a rash but with big blisters caused by the chickenpox virus. It is very painful and contagious so if someone has it they need to be quarantined. There isn't a cure for shingles, but known treatment is taking antiviral, pain and antibiotic medication.

Once the treatment of Shingles is completed, can it return in later life?

Yes even after shingles have been treated it can return later on in life.

Should a doctor be able to give information on treatment for shingles?

Yes. A doctor is needed to correctly diagnose shingles and help discuss a treatment plan. See a doctor as soon as possible because complications can arise.

Where can I find the treatment for shingles?

See your doctor and he/she can prescribe you medication to treat the shingles. Typically, a hydrocortisone cream and antibiotic would be provided to deal with the itch and rashes.

Should a child get a second chickenpox vaccine if he developed shingles a few years after the initial vaccine for chickenpox was given?

Current recommendations are for two doses of chickenpox vaccine, regardless of the history of chickenpox or shingles.

What are the first 3 symptoms of shingles?

The first three symptoms of shingles are extreme sensitivity or pain in the broad band, sensitivity to light and flu. These symptoms can occur in the initial stage.

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The first aim of treatment is to keep up nutrition and avoid dehydration.

Does shingles always have open weeping lesions?

Not at all, but it can. Early disgnosis and treatment can prevent serious sores.

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