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Shingles / Herpes Zoster/Post Herpetic Neuralgia/Chicken pox shingles

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General info about Shingles

Shingles' or 'Herpes Zoster' are painful skin rashes that appear usually on the side of the chest wall as a band. It is caused by reactivation of the dormant chicken pox virus- varicella zoster.


The word 'shingles' comes from the Latin word 'cingulum' meaning 'girdle'. This is due to a classical band of blisters encircling the side of the torso resembling a 'girdle'. Shingles can also affect other parts of the body such as the neck, face and scalp. The term 'herpes' comes from the Greek word meaning, 'to creep.'

Shingles is a secondary infection; a second outbreak of the 'chicken pox virus'. This means that shingles particularly affects those who have previously suffered an attack of chicken pox.

The condition is excruciatingly painful as it involves the nerves. It is difficult to diagnose in the early stage when pain is the only symptom.Once the one-sided rash and blisters appear, it is more readily identified as these rashes follow the distribution of a nerve branch.

It is not a life threatening condition, but shingles can produce such acute pain. A mere touch may cause the pain, which may last for several months even after the rashes have disappeared. The condition is then called 'post herpatic neuralgia'

Shingles is an infectious disease and hence the afflicted person may pass on the virus to any individual who has not had an attack of chicken pox. These individuals may develop full-blown chicken pox, instead of shingles.

Pregnant women and new -borns also belong to the high-risk category. The disease cannot be passed on to anyone who has already had an attack of chicken pox and in whom the immune system is in a healthy state.

It is primarily a disease of the elderly, but it can occasionally affect young individuals as well.

Early treatment with anti-viral medication reduces pain and the associated complications.

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Hi Friends, I have been afected with herpes Zoster, started with pain in left hand and left underarms 3 weeks back. Nearly 1 week back got rashes in left hand and near chest. Now I am taking antiviral tablets and other medictines prescribed my the doctor. Now my rashes has become balck but still have pain in and arround underarms and near left breast. I would like to know whether this can be completely cured? I am 30 years old and I am trying for a baby. Wether herpes would aftec the chance of getting pregnant? Whether this wud aftect the baby during prepgnacy? whether is thr any chance of speading to my parter and 4 year old daughter? I am realy confused with this. I kidly request you people to help me to get my answers....Thanks in advance
Answer Sunday, August 7, 2011
I've had phn for 7yrs.I've taken lots of meds inc. natural such as neuropathy. even so if it wasn't for the med I CURRENT TAKE GIVE ME SOME QUALTY OF LIFE.But as far aS i can see I will never be pain free. So what the use of livin. thanks linda gibson hou tx so tried of fighting these pain
gibsonlinda Thursday, April 7, 2011
The visible symptom of shingles is a very blistery rash that looks like a fever blister. This shingles symptom only occurs on the one side of the body and runs in the distribution of the nerve. The distribution of the nerve is not something that the patient would recognize, that's something that the dermatologist would recognize. The symptom of shingles are in the oral health category.
suzane_fadrik Friday, January 7, 2011
I am 75 and have been battling Shingles for about 8 weeks....I took Valtrex and am on Lyrica....The spots are pretty well healed but the pain under my left rib cage, diaphram, and back is is almost like it has gone inside and under. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciataed....Thanx, Barbo
Barbo Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The medicines for shingles are Acyclovir, Famciclovir and Valtrex. The doctor prescribed Valtrex. He asked me to apply it topically with cotton and oxygen peroxide twice daily and leave it for 2 hours.

I have also got an anti-inflammatory plant (Yerva mora) Solanum nigrum ?Black nightshade which proved effective. First place the leaves in a cotton role and powder it. Then mix it with peroxide and apply it on the affected area for 2 hours twice a day. I supported the cotton with a little bag made of rolled gauze. I put a plastic piece above it to avoid stain to my clothes. In 3 days I got rid of the marks.
Basil leaves with peroxide can also prove to be a cheap and wonderful medicine. It helps to bring down the pain and stops shingles from advancing. Apple cider vinegar can also be used similarly to get rid of shingles in less than a month.

Take Vitamins E sometimes, and B complex liquid or sub lingual for a week. Shingles will soon get cured. However just be careful to avoid contamination by allowing anyone to touch the affected area. The Internet would give you all information regarding the contamination period. In addition be careful while handling food. However do not use the fruits of Black nightshade, but only use it topically.

carmen475 Saturday, May 22, 2010
I had Shingles just before Christmas 2009.
Nothing too bad, I thought I was let off lightly.
Just now I am wondering if I am getting it again.
I found this site and it answered my question of is it possible.
But does that mean on the same site as before?
This time I think it might be coming out directly on the opposite site of where it was before (rib cage).
I am 47 and also have Palindromic Rheumatism.
Anyone with answers?
Thanks in advance, Mirjam

Meave Tuesday, March 9, 2010
im 19 can i get shingles? i think i may have it! AHHHH!
littlegurl747 Sunday, November 22, 2009
I used to have had severe attacks when I was in my 20's, usually when under stress.
I have used folic acid for years. It stops the shingles attack quickly, but you still have to heal the sores. The best method is to take a 400mg supplement to prevent the attacks.
I have friends who have used folic acid to help prevent genital herpes attacks with success.
Folic acid is inexpensive (about $5 for a 9 month supply) by it self, but it is best taken in a "balanced" B vitamin complex.

gestry Monday, October 12, 2009
My 88 year old mother has a bad attack at the moment and we cannot find anything to help the pain. What dose of folic acid do you suggest please
guest Saturday, January 16, 2010
1999 had Guillain-Barre syndrome which left me with lowered immune system. 2 years ago was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica & have had 8 bouts of shingles since.. on my buttock.I am told this is made worse by the prednisone I take for the PMA.Any comments from anyone with similar experiences would be welcome.I am 58, female.
christine58 Sunday, September 6, 2009
I underwent treatment for Hepatitis C -interferon +ribavarin. Is there any indication that this treatment can compromise the immune system as I have had several attacks of Shingles since the treatment ended.
Michael54 Monday, August 31, 2009
hi michael, i have been through the same experiance i am having a bad attack at the moment these are happening more often and stress and illness brings them on. as my treatment was 3 years ago and did not work,my shingles is getting worse. it took 6 months and loads of testing to find out what it was. i thought i was going crazy.i was given tablets which made me ill so i stoped taking them. i am going to try different ones as my life seems to be put on hold every 2 months for 2-3 at a time. so your answer is yes but you might have to push for treatment. jo
guest Friday, October 23, 2009

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