Also known as herpes zoster, Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Experts believe that if you have suffered from chicken pox, then chances are that a strain of the virus is dormant in your body and gets activated later in life to cause Shingles pain, largely due to weakening of the immune system in the body.
Causes of Shingles
It is important to note that Shingles pain is caused because of the presence of the dormant strain of the chicken pox virus in the body. Age is the most important factor that leads to this syndrome. People over the age of 50 are more likely to get Shingles that a small baby or child.
However, the most important cause of Shingles in a person is the weakening of the immune system. Weak immune system is caused by a variety of factors including, aging, disease, medication as well as treatment for various health related problems.
Symptoms of Shingles
Shingles pain is characterized by two very important symptoms, rash and pain. Shingles breaks out in the area of the nerve that has been affected and generally occurs in the chest, abdomen or face, especially near the eyes.
Pain is the first symptom that notifies the occurrence of Shingles in a person, which is soon followed by rashes. Intensity of the pain as well as the rash differs from person to person, going from severe to mild rash and dull pain to a sharp and severe one.
It is also important to note that the rash caused during Shingles is often itchy and tender. Moreover, the person suffering from Shingles could complain of nausea, fever, chills and even diarrhea.
Treatment for Shingles
Pain relief as well as relief from the rash is the primary level of treatment offered for Shingles pain. This could include a short course of corticosteroid, which helps reduce the pain and inflammation or could include non steroid anti inflammatory medications, which again are great for pain relief.
Topical creams are excellent for helping with tenderness and itchiness caused by the rashes. However, the main thrust of the treatment is antiviral medications, which help in eradicating the root cause of the problem. In other words, the virus that actually causes Shingles should be removed from the body to help the person become better.
It is pertinent to note that Shingles pain usually lasts anywhere between four and eight weeks and should be cured before it intensifies, else it could cause severe neurological problems.