Herpes zoster: symptoms and treatment, photo

Herpes zoster( another term for herpes zoster) is a viral disease characterized by unilateral painful skin rashes and general deterioration of the body.

The causative agent is the varicella zoster virus. The disease develops in those who previously had chickenpox in childhood or adolescence.

In this article we will look at how herpes zoster looks in an adult, its symptoms and methods of treatment.

Causes of

It is possible to infect a virus in childhood, from a patient deprive or chickenpox. Herpes zoster in children runs like a normal chickenpox. After complete recovery, the virus enters the nerve cells and is in a dormant state. During the incubation period, a person for others is not infectious.

Tinea shows up with a decrease in immunity. The weakness that is the trigger for the disease is most often caused due to:

  • negative impact on the body of other diseases;
  • administration of drugs that impair immunity;
  • emotional stress and subsequent stress;
  • of constant hard work;
  • carrying out complex operations that significantly reduce the immune defense of the body.

In , the risk group includes:

  1. HIV-infected people with AIDS;
  2. Cancer patients or undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy;
  3. Diabetics suffering from diabetes;
  4. People taking hormones;
  5. People who underwent transplantation of any organs;
  6. Presence of chronic diseases: tuberculosis, heart failure, cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis or renal insufficiency.

The virus comes out of hibernation, and on the processes of nerve cells gets to the surface of the skin causing unpleasant symptoms. Also, the cause of the appearance of herpes zoster may be the advanced age of a person, since it is the elderly who most often suffer from this disease.

Herpes zoster is contagious?

People who have already had chicken pox disease can not get infected from a patient suffering from shingles. For everyone else, especially for children who have not had chickenpox, there is a risk of infection.

How is the herpes virus transmitted? Infection occurs by a contact way - as with a common chicken pox. It should be noted that the infected person does not contract herpes zoster, but a typical chickenpox with all the manifestations of this pathology.

Symptoms of herpes zoster

The incubation period in humans can be several dozen years. It all depends on when the body will not be able to suppress the activity of the virus.

In the event of herpes zoster, the first symptoms of the disease in adults are manifested by the flu-like state of :

  • body temperature increase;
  • headache;
  • weakness and lethargy;
  • enlargement of lymph nodes.

Often the symptoms are accompanied by burning pain in the place of the future rash. Most often, a bubble rash appears on the body in the rib area and has a shingling character. Hence the name of the disease - herpes zoster. In rare cases, pain and a rash appears on the face. The first skin disorders are observed on the nose and in the ears, then the rash is transferred to the mucous membrane of the eyes.

First the bubbles are filled with clear liquid, then their contents become cloudy and they are opened to form crusts. Regional lymph nodes are enlarged, catarrhal phenomena can arise - it is during this period that the patient presents the greatest epidemic danger for others. As with a typical chickenpox, in patients with shingles there can be several waves of podsypany, before each of which the patient's condition worsens.

Usually, the ailment lasts about 20 days - after this time the vesicles dry up, the crusts fall off, and a noticeable pigmentation remains on the surface of the skin, which disappears after 2-3 months.


With the detailed clinical picture of ganlio-skin forms of shingles, the diagnosis of the difficulties does not represent.

Errors often occur in the initial period of the illness, when there are symptoms of intoxication, fever, and severe pain. In these cases mistakenly put the diagnosis of angina pectoris, pulmonary infarction, renal colic, acute appendicitis, etc.

Differentiate from simple herpes, erysipelas, acute eczema;the generalized form of herpes zoster - from chicken pox. For laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis, virus detection is used with microscopy or with the help of immunofluorescence method, virus isolation on tissue cultures, serological methods.

Herpes zoster: photo

How does this disease look like, we offer detailed photos to view.

Complications of

The prognosis for mild forms of the disease is favorable, usually there are no relapses and serious consequences of herpes zoster. However, weakened people after a severe inflammatory process are possible in the future exacerbations.

Part of patients complain with :

  • local pain up to six months after recovery - 25%;
  • the presence of painful reactions for more than six months - 16%;
  • headaches and dizziness - 3%;
  • disorders of the motor sphere - 4,5%;
  • acquired deafness - 2,7%;
  • decreased vision - 1,8%

In severe cases, the brain can be affected( encephalitis, meningitis), stroke, inflammation of the spinal cord. Ocular forms of herpes often lead to blindness due to necrosis of the retina, as well as to other diseases of the organs of vision.

Often within 1-2 years after recovery a person is concerned with pain in the intestines, stomach, heaviness in the near-cardiac region. The most dangerous consequences, as a rule, are observed in the absence of conservative treatment in an acute period.

Treatment of herpes zoster

Most cases of shingles end in self-healing, even when untreated. However, drugs do exist and can significantly alleviate the symptom of the disease, and prevent complications. Symptomatic treatment of herpes zoster is administered individually, depending on the severity of the course.

For treatment in adults, certain drugs are used:

  1. Antiviral drugs( Acyclovir) are effective in their appointment in the first 3 days of the disease.
  2. Treatment of affected skin with drugs containing Acyclovir, a solution of brilliant green, Solcoseryl.
  3. In order to reduce the pain syndrome and relieve inflammation, NSAIDs( Nimesulide, Meloxicam and others) are prescribed.
  4. If there are signs of severe intoxication - detoxification therapy( infusion solutions) followed by taking diuretics.
  5. With symptoms of nervous system damage - antidepressants, sedatives, hypnotics.
  6. To reduce the itching - antihistamines.
  7. In the case of bacterial infection of the elements of the rash - antibiotics.

The objectives of Herpes zoster therapy are:

  • to accelerate recovery;
  • to reduce pain;
  • prevent complications;
  • to reduce the likelihood of postherpetic neuralgia.

Drug treatment is necessary for people with a high risk of complications or protracted course of the disease: people with immunodeficiency, patients older than 50 years. The benefits of antiviral therapy in healthy and young people have not been proven.

Uncomplicated cases are treated at home. Mandatory hospitalization is indicated to all people with suspected disseminated process, with damage to the eyes and brain.

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