Shingles are a result of having had chicken pox at a younger age, and is a painful skin rash which usually impacts the back of the neck. It is usually in the shape of a small band or strip, and can affect ares of the face or side of the body. It is common with older adults, and those who have a weaker immune system, either because of injuries they have sustained, stress, medication you take, or other similar reasons which may weaken the immune system.
Shingles occurs when the virus which causes you to get chicken pox enters your body again, at a later age in life. Once being cured of chicken pox, the virus remains dormant in your central nervous system; with most people it remains dormant forever, in other cases, it affects individuals again, and the end result is the weakening of the immune system. It is not exactly clear what causes the virus to become active in the body again, but the end result is this condition, and the pain that comes along with it.
The symptoms that you are going to experience with the shingles virus may vary for each person; but, for most people, the symptoms that are going to be experienced come in stages. It will begin with headaches, or sensitivity to light. The following stages of symptoms are going to include itching, tingling sensations, or feeling tightness and pain in certain areas of the body which are generally affected by the condition. Clusters of blisters will begin to form over the next few days, where the rashes originally showed up. It usually takes about 2 weeks, up to a month, for these to clear up. In some cases, you may experience dizziness or feeling weak, but this varies from person to person.
Shingles Treatment Options
When it comes to treating shingles, there are some things that you can do. Antiviral medications and pain medication are generally prescribed to help treat this condition. When you begin taking the antiviral medications early on, this will help with the healing time, and can possibly help soothe the pain you will experience. It is also possible to ward of the viral infection entirely, with the shot that you can take for the condition; just like other vaccines (flu, chicken pox, etc), you can take one for this condition as well. Other than pain medication, bed rest, and antiviral medications, there are no other real solutions apart from time.
If possible, taking the vaccine is in your best interest. But, for those who do not, if the virus ever becomes active in your body, it is important to visit your doctor immediately, if you believe you have the shingles virus. Not only to get the proper medication in your system immediately, but also to help you find the best solutions for pain management, and to help clear the virus up in a shorter period of time than it would usually require for treatment.