Herpes zoster, generally known as shingles, is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It is a painful skin condition characterized by small blisters on the skin surface or a band of rashes anywhere on the body. Most commonly, the buttocks and trunk show noticeable skin rash. Even if the rashes fade away, the pain can persist for months. At Charma Clinic, Dr. Rajdeep Mysore, a leading skin doctor in Bangalore, provides the appropriate diagnosis and treatment for all types of bacterial, fungal, and viral skin infections based on clinical presentation, dermatoscopy examination and any necessary lab tests or investigations.
Herpes Zoster occurs when Varicella-Zoster Virus reactivates and causes recurrent disease:
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is also responsible for causing chickenpox. A person with chickenpox is at high risk for herpes zoster because the virus lies dormant in the nerve cell and can reactivate later in life. This condition is considered the second appearance or different expression of the Varicella zoster virus after its reactivation in people who had already suffered from chickenpox. Unusually, this condition could occur more than once in any individual, but the only difference is the rashes appearing on another site. Antiviral drugs can be prescribed to treat shingles and lessen complications, but there is no such cure for it.
Herpes Zoster is not age sensitive, but it is most common among people 50 years of age and older. People suffering from typical medical conditions or taking medications that suppress their immune system are at increased risk for herpes zoster. Consulting the dermatologists at Charma Clinic, the best skin clinic in Bangalore can help one get treatment for this skin concern under expert supervision.
How is Herpes Zoster caused?
People who have suffered from chickenpox early in their lives fight off the Varicella zoster virus and resolve its related symptoms but still cannot get rid of the virus that stays in its dormant form inside their body.
Varicella-zoster virus (a causative agent of chickenpox and shingles) in its latent form resides in the dorsal root ganglion of the nerve cells near the spinal cord. After a few decades, this virus can be reactivated in the nerve cells and produce several virions. It could be either due to stress or aging that makes the immune system less competent. The new active viruses can move down the peripheral nerve to reach the cutaneous sensory nerves of the skin. In the skin, it can lead to a new outbreak of viruses called herpes zoster or shingles. Meet the Best Herpes Zoster treatment doctor in Bangalore at Charma Clinic to get healthy, disease-free skin under the supervision of medical experts.
Is Herpes Zoster contagious?
A person with herpes zoster cannot spread the same infection to a healthy person but can still spread the varicella-zoster virus through direct skin contact with the fluids that ooze from the skin blisters. Thus it is advised to keep away or cover the body part with skin blisters from people who never had chickenpox or its vaccine.
An individual suffering from shingles can remain contagious until their rash gets dried and crusted over.
What are the symptoms of Herpes Zoster?
People suffering from the above symptoms must consult the top dermatologist in Bangalore, India, at Charma Clinic to get an initial stage diagnosis and treatment of this skin concern.
How can a person be diagnosed with Herpes Zoster?
Herpes zoster is sometimes confused with herpes simplex, with conditions like contact dermatitis, folliculitis, scabies, insect bites, candidal skin infection, and certain drug eruptions.
The dermatologists recommend a proper diagnostic test that can diagnose the disease affecting the skin.
Tzanck Smear - Check for the type of virus by gently taking scrapings of the blistered skin or a swab of the fluids that ooze from the crusted skin lesions (or cysts). A smear is prepared by scraping one of the blisters and examining it under the microscope.
Certain diseases that mimic herpes zoster are Insect bite and Lymphangioma circumscriptum.
Hence, these tests are very important because other skin conditions treated differently can show similar symptoms to shingles.
Can Herpes Zoster cause other health problems?
Consulting a skin doctor is a must if one is experiencing any changes in their skin. Herpes Zoster or Shingles, if provided with proper treatment, get corrected within a few weeks, but negligence can cause complications that can last for months or even years.
Possible complications include:
1. Problems in Eyes
If shingles affect eyes, it is called ocular shingles. The symptoms of this condition include
If left untreated can cause glaucoma, eye infections, scarring, and even blindness, Eye shingles can also increase the risk of stroke. Hence, it is important to consult the dermatologists if one is experiencing any problems in their skin.
2. Postherpetic Neuralgia:
This condition appears when the shingles rash and blisters clear. This symptom includes pain, itching, and tingling sensations, poor appetite, insomnia, and tiredness. People who are aged 60 years plus are more likely to suffer from this condition.
3. Secondary Skin Infections:
Bacterial and fungal skin infections can also occur with shingles; the signs include pain, itching, and changes in skin doctor at the affected area. Consulting a skin doctor is a must to prevent the spread of infection as it can lead to scarring and other health consequences.
Consult with the skin doctor in Bangalore at Charma Clinic to reduce the risk of complications associated with Herpes Zoster by getting initial treatment.
How is Herpes Zoster treated?
Other treatments include
Risk factors of having shingles or Herpes Zoster
This type of skin infection is mostly found in older adults and those with a weak immune system. After getting chickenpox, people are likely to suffer from herpes zoster if
Prevention of Herpes Zoster
All immunocompetent adults, whether they have got herpes zoster or have been given live-attenuated varicella vaccine, are recommended to take a newer recombinant zoster vaccine. It can help provide some years of protection against the herpes zoster. Usually, two doses are provided with a spacing of 2 to 6 months. A vaccine is not given to people who are currently having herpes zoster, are pregnant or breastfeeding, are severely allergic to the component of the vaccine, have illness or fever, and those who have been tested negative for immunity varicella-zoster virus.
Note: In healthcare settings, the control of the infection depends upon whether the patient with herpes zoster is immunocompromised or immunocompetent and if the skin rash is disseminated or localized. It is advised that the patient keep the infected dry and crusted lesions covered. Until the dissemination is ruled out, airborne and contact precautions shall be followed. The patient stays in a contact isolation room until the blister phase is over.
Dermatologists recommend the following tips to relieve pain and itching:
What does the treatment cost?
The treatment cost will vary depending upon the mode of treatment chosen and the severity of the condition. Most cases are treated on an out-patient basis and the cost will only include the consultation and medication costs. Very few cases may require hospital care which can drive up the costs significantly. To know more about shingles or herpes zoster treatment costs in Bangalore, schedule an appointment with the best skin expert at Charma Clinic, a skin clinic in India.
Does the risk of getting shingles increase with increasing age?
Yes, even if one feels healthy, with increasing age, the immune system weakens and puts one at increased risk of getting shingles. People above the age of 50n are more prone to get shingles. However in our center, we have treated 2 and 3 month old babies with zoster, although this is extremely rare.
How long does the infection last?
The infection risk associated with this condition can last for more than 14 days, and the pain can last for more than a few weeks or even months. In the case of postherpetic neuralgia, the pain can last for longer.
Charma Clinic is the best skin clinic in Bangalore, India, dedicated to providing the best skincare and anti-aging treatments that focus on improving skin health and making one look disease-free and beautiful.
To know more about shingles treatment in Bangalore, consult with the medical experts at Charma Clinic.
Disclaimer: This website (www.charmaclinic.com) aims to spread awareness about skin, hair, nail problems and their relevant treatments. The information shared here is generic in nature and can not replace the advice/ prescription of a qualified medical professional. Every individual may have different skin, hair, nail concerns and must be treated accordingly. Hence, medications or treatments mentioned on the website shall not be consumed/ utilized unless prescribed by a certified medical professional.