Health Care

How You Can Prevent Herpes Zoster

9:15:00 PM Lokesh kumar 0 Comments

Herpes zoster is a latent infection caused by varicella zoster virus. This is the same infection that causes chicken pox. Herpes zoster is commonly known as shingles. Having had chickenpox puts you at risk of developing shingles later in life. This condition usually occurs more in those who are over 60 years old.

Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk to develop shingles. There are, however, certain risk factors that may increases your chances of developing herpes zoster. They include being 60 years old or older, being immunodeficient (patients with HIV, AIDS or cancers), patients who are post radiotherapy and chemotherapy or using medication like steroids and immunosuppressive agents. As mentioned previously, shingles occurs most with people over 60 years of age. This is largely due to the fact that the immune system weakens as our bodies mature. This very fact also puts them at a risk of developing complications that are caused by shingles. The rash that occurs maybe more extensive, infections from open blisters, pneumonia and brain infection.

Preventing herpes zoster is vital especially in the older generation where dreadful complications may occur. Individuals over 60 is advised to get the shingles vaccine (varicella zoster immunization). This would help to protect them from severe symptoms and complication, if at all they should get it. Children are advised to be given the chickenpox vaccine. The vaccine is also known as the varicella immunization. Two shots are needed to complete the dosage. Adults who have never contracted chickenpox should also be given this vaccine. The vaccine does not necessarily mean you will not get the infection, but it helps to prevent the infection.

As with chickenpox, shingles are also extremely contagious. If you have developed the infection, take measures to help prevent the disease from spreading. Keep your rash covered to avoid unnecessary contact with other people or common objects that you share with people. Avoid being in close contact with uninfected children and adults. Keep your distance from people who are known HIV/AIDS or cancer patients. Keep yourself and your surrounding clean. Practice frequent hand washing to prevent secondary infections from touching the rash and to ensure you do not spread the infection to someone else. Herpes zoster is a viral infection. Like all other viral infection, there is no antibiotics or a definitive treatment plan to overcome the infection. However, doctors would prescribe medications to help ease the symptoms and shorten the duration of the disease. Anti-viral medication is given to ease the pain and hasten the duration of the disease. Anti-inflammatories are given to help ease the pain, redness and swelling associated with the rash. Some doctors would also prescribe anti-histamine to help you with the itchiness. Preventing itchiness helps warding off secondary infections over your rash. You can also use over the counter numbing creams, gels, or patches that can significantly reduce your pain.

Shingles may lead to harmful complications. Damage to certain structures in your eyes like the cornea can occur if the rash occurs in the face close to the eye area. This damage can threaten your sight and leave you with permanent damage. In old people, secondary infections from the open blisters can be severe. This may even cause widespread infection all over the body. Some patients may also develop Ramsay Hunt Syndrome that may lead to one sided facial paralysis and hearing loss. The damage maybe permanent if left untreated. Patients with weakened immune system may even have brain or spinal cord inflammation which leads to serious and life-threatening situations. Early intervention makes a difference. If you develop painful rashes with blisters, have them checked by a medical expert. Early treatment may help tremendously in preventing complications that occur with herpes zoster. Read more information about herpes zoster at

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