Herpes Zoster, Zoster or Zona are some of the names used to describe Shingles, the viral infection caused by the chickenpox virus; different from the genital herpes virus and indicated by a painful skin rash usually seen on one side of the body.
This is a contagious condition that actually has no known cure; however there are shingles treatment options that help manage and keep the infection in control.
The Shingles Vaccine as Shingles Treatment
According to Web MD, the Shingles vaccine is recommended as a preventive measure for those who are over the age of 50.
Also the vaccine can help to prevent recurrence of the symptoms of the shingles disease for those people who already have the infection.
So in this sense the vaccine acts as shingles treatment as well as a preventive measure.
The shingles vaccine consists of a weakened chicken pox virus strain which, like any vaccine helps the body produce antibodies to prevent the disease. It has been seen that the vaccine can reduce a person’s chance of getting shingles by up to 50%.
It is recommended for people over the age of 50 by the CDC. It is also suitable for those who have problems that have caused weakened immunity. Those who are on medications that suppress the immune system should also consider having the shingles vaccine.
Shingles Treatment options
As soon as shingles is diagnosed, treatment is initiated to control its development and ease its symptoms of pain and rashes. Anti viral medications such as famciclovir, valacyclovir and acyclovir may be prescribed to keep the duration of the viral infection.
Pain medication which is available over the counter can be taken, or prescription pain medication may be required to keep the pain in control.
Shingles treatment to prevent Complications
Also attempts are initiated to prevent a complication of shingles called Postherpetic neuralgia, which is characterized by pain, headaches, and nerve problems, which can last for at least 30 days and can continue for months to years.
If this complication occurs, there may be requirement for antidepressant medication to be prescribed. Anticonvulsant medicine, topical anesthetic and opioids may also be required to keep the complication in control and to manage the severe pain that is characteristic of the condition.
Another complication of Shingles is something called cellulitis when the blisters formed as a result of the shingles rash become infected with a bacterial infection. If this complication occurs, the affected area will become warm, firm, tender and red streaks may form around it. To treat this, antibiotics will be required.
Much of one’s shingles treatment options can depend upon the kind of infection that each individual has, the severity of their symptoms as well as the location of the rashes that they suffer from.
Sometimes the virus may attack organs of the body other than the skin, and in this case, anti viral medication is required to prevent its spread to the lungs, heart, pancreas, liver and intestinal tract as well as the digestive system.
Specific treatment may also be required for the sort of rash that appears on the forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose and around the eyes since the condition can be eyesight threatening.