Shingles

Shingles  also known as Herpes zoster:  this disorder is an acute unilateral and segmental inflammation of the dorsal root ganglia caused by infection with the herpes virus varicella zoster or V -Z, the same virus causes by chicken pox.  Herpes Zoster produces localized vesicular (relating to small, saclike bodies) skin lesions confined to a dermatome (the area of skin supplied with afferent nerve fibers by a single posterior spinal root), and severe neuralgic pain in peripheral areas innervated ( supply of nerve stimulation sent to a part) by the nerves arising in the inflamed ganglia ( a group of nerve cell bodies, located outside the central nervous system).
Cause:  Shingles is caused by reactivation of the herpes virus V -Z that has lain dormant in the cerebral ganglia (extramedullary ganglia of the cranial nerves) or the ganglia of posterior nerve roots since a previous episode of chicken pox.

Symptoms:

Fever
Malaise
Within 2 to 4 days : deep pain, pruritus (itching), and paresthesia (an abnormal sensation, such as, burning and prickling) or hyperesthesia (Abnormal increased sensitivity of the skin or organ), more common in the trunk and occasionally on the arms and legs.
Pain may be continuous or intermittent
Small red  nodular skin lesions then usually erupt on the painful areas and commonly spread unilaterally around the  thorax or vertically over the arms or legs.
They quickly become vesicles filled with clear fluid or pus.
After 10 days after they appear, the vesicles usually dry up and form scabs,

Treatment:

To relieve the itching and neuralgic pain - your doctor may prescribe calamine lotion or another topical antipruritic 
Aspirin, possibly with codeine or another analgesic
Your doctor may prescribe an application of collodion or tincture of benzoin to unbroken lesions.
If lesion ruptures an becomes infected an antibiotic may be prescribe
Trigeminal zoster with corneal involvement calls for  instillation of idoxuridine ointment or another antiviral medication. 
Your doctor may prescribe a combination of treatment for patient with intractable pain of  postherpetic neuralgia such as ; corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, of a sedatives or tranquilizers, or an antidepressants with phenothiazines.
Studies shows that * Zovirax (acyclovir) seems to stop progression of the skin rash and prevent visceral complications.  * Vidarabine reportedly speeds healing of lesions, decreases pain and prevents the disease from spreading and developing complications

 * Call your doctor PROMPTLY if you develop signs of dissemination (generalized lesions) and CNS infection (headache, fever, stiff neck and or weakness. 

 * Avoid close contact with individuals who haven't had chicken pos until the eruption has resolved. 

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