- 1 What is shingles? What does shingles look like?
- 2 What causes shingles?
- 3 Shingles symptoms. Stages of shingles virus
- 4 Shingles diagnosis
- 5 Is shingles contagious?
- 6 Shingles on face. How does shingles start?
- 7 Shingles in the eye. Shingles pain treatment
- 8 Shingles in adults
- 9 How to treat shingles? Antiviral shingles medication
- 10 What to do if you have shingles? Best treatment for shingles
- 11 Valtrex medication for herpes zoster shingles
- 12 Acyclovir for shingles. Acyclovir dosage for shingles
- 13 What to do when you have shingles? Zovirax for shingles
- 14 Shingles treatment at home. Home remedies for shingles
- 15 When do I need to see a doctor? Shingles virus treatment
Shingles is a disease that occurs in people who have had chickenpox in the past. Chickenpox virus can remain in the body and sometimes (for example, when immunity is weakened) to “crawl out”, causing very painful sensations. Usually this virus spreads along some nerve, so a “strip” of a rash is obtained. It is not contagious. Symptoms are relieved by painkillers, sometimes antiviral drugs are given to the patient, with time this goes away by itself.
What is shingles? What does shingles look like?
Shingles is a disease caused by the herpes virus. It affects not only the skin, but also the nervous system. Shingles and chicken pox have a common etiology and pathogenesis. Modern medicine refers to shingles to infectious diseases that are highly contagious, because it is provoked by the herpes virus.
The disease is characterized by the classical triad:
- Symptoms similar to infectious diseases;
- Skin manifestations characteristic of herpes infection;
- Manifestations of the nervous system, both peripheral and central.
Available statistics indicate that shingles will manifest itself in every fourth person who had chickenpox in history. Moreover, the disease will go into the active stage after a person reaches 50 years of age. It is in this age group that shingles is most often diagnosed. There is no sexual difference between the diseased.
In addition, in recent years, cases of shingles in young and mature age. Scientists explain this fact by unfavorable ecological situation in cities, weakening of the immune system of people, high susceptibility to infectious and viral diseases. Often herpes zoster accompanies patients with oncology, the number of which is steadily increasing. It is especially common in people who have undergone radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
It is known that most people still have chickenpox at childhood, which means that the herpes virus that provokes shingles exists in their body. In this regard, the risk of its reactivation for each inhabitant of the planet is about 10%.
What does shingles look like?
What causes shingles?
It is known that shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chicken pox. However, these two diseases are radically different in symptoms and in the course of inflammation.
Once having had chickenpox in childhood, one should not assume that the virus was completely defeated by the immune system. It simply goes into a latent state and exists in the body in a dormant state. The place of its localization is the cranial nerves and nerve nodes. The virus can be in a depressed state for many years, as long as the human immunity controls its reproduction and produces antibodies against it in the required amount.
When a certain part of the immune system fails, the zoster virus is reactivated again, but it is no longer cause a chicken pox, but shingles. Therefore, the opinion that once you have had chickenpox, you will never encounter this disease again is wrong. Re-infection can not occur, as the virus already exists in the body, but the disease can be exacerbated with a high degree of probability, only it will proceed as shingles.
Experts identify the following causes of shingles:
1. Older age. Crossing the line at 50-60 years, a person increases the risk of developing the disease by 7 times compared with young people. About 5% of pensioners go to doctors to complain about the symptoms of shingles. The explanation for this fact is very simple, because in old age there is a natural decrease in immunity, the level of endorphins falls, the process of assimilation of vitamins and microelements worsens. The peak of appeals is in autumn and spring.
2. At a young age, herpes zoster develops due to a disruption in the immune system.
- Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs;
- Autoimmune pathology, lack of immunity;
- Oncological diseases of a malignant nature;
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy;
- Organ or bone marrow transplantation;
- Received severe injuries;
3. Chronic diseases such as: hepatitis, cirrhosis, renal and heart failure, tuberculosis.
4. Acceptance of certain drugs, for example, immunosuppressive drugs (cytostatics, glucocorticosteroid hormones).
5. Infection with chickenpox in adulthood. Although rare, people with chickenpox after a period of childhood can have symptoms similar to shingles.
6. Increasing the amount of zoster virus in the body. Since the disease is transmitted by airborne droplets or by contact, with additional interaction with the virus, people with disorders in the immune system may develop symptoms of shingles.
7. Severe neurological and infectious diseases, overcooling of the body, stress, physical fatigue – all this is provoking factors for the manifestation of symptoms of the disease.
8. Epidemic outbreaks of chicken pox in a children’s team often occur due to the dense interaction of the child and the adult with shingles.
Shingles symptoms. Stages of shingles virus
Symptoms of shingles cannot be overlooked. The clinical picture is characterized by an acute onset, with severe pain and severe burning sensation at the site of injury.
The disease affects the area of the human body most often on the one side.
Localization zones of shingles can be:
- Lower and upper limbs;
- Intercostal spaces;
- The face (its part along the ternary nerve);
- Lower jaw;
- Back of the head;
If the shingles affects the facial part, the rash will be located along the ternary, or facial nerve. If the affected area of the body, the rash will be located along the spinal nerves. This fact is explained by the high accumulation of the virus in the nerve nodes, in 11 pairs of cranial nerves, in the posterior horns in each of the halves of the spinal cord. Therefore, skin manifestations are localized along the involved nerve.
Experts identify three periods or stages, each of which has its own symptoms of shingles:
Stage 1: The onset of the disease.
This period is called prodromal. It is accompanied by general malaise, psycho-vegetative (neurological) pain, which may have different intensity. The duration of the initial period can range from 48 hours to 4 days.
In parallel, a sick person experiences the following symptoms:
- Feeling weak;
- Increase in body temperature to subfebrile marks (fever is observed very rarely, but it does occur);
- Disruption of the functioning of the digestive tract and related dyspeptic disorders;
- Pain, burning, itching, pronounced tingling in the area of that part of the body or face, where later rashes will appear;
- As the symptoms increase, the lymph nodes swell, they become painful and hard to touch;
- Violations of the process of emptying the bladder is observed in severe disease.
When the body temperature drops, the intoxication symptoms caused by it are significantly reduced.
Stage 2: Period of rash.
The next stage of the disease is characterized by the appearance of lesions on the skin. Their intensity and quantity depends on the severity of shingles. Rashes have the form of small spots, the size of which does not exceed 0.5 mm. They are located foci, have a pink color. Between them are areas of intact skin.
If the disease has a classic clinical course, then vesicles will appear at the site of the lesions that occurred after a day. They will be filled with serous contents: colorless and transparent. After 1 day, the liquid inside the bubbles will become cloudy.
If shingles are hard, then inside the vesicles you can see the liquid mixed with blood, and they themselves will be black. The rash characteristic of shingles is similar in wave-like flow to rashes that occur with chickenpox. That is, with a period of several days, new vesicles will appear on one or the other. Rashes gradually girdle the body, hence the name of the disease.
If the lichen proceeds in a mild form, then only skin nodules are possible without the subsequent formation of pustules. Or a person may experience only pain along the nerves, but there will be no rash.
In connection with the blurring of the clinical manifestations of the disease, it is very important to make a correct diagnosis, differentiating mild shingles from intercostal neuralgia, osteochondrosis, and heart pain.
Stage 3: The period of formation of crusts.
After two weeks (maximum 1.5 weeks), in the place where there were previously rashes, the formation of crusts from yellow to brown occurs. Places where vesicles were located lose their saturated color. Gradually, the crusts disappear from them, after which pigmentation remains on the skin.
Stage 4: Shingles pain.
A person always suffers from severe pains that occur even from a minor touch to the skin. This is due to the fact that the virus is localized in the nerve cells, disrupting their work and many times increasing the sensitivity of the nerve endings. The pain experienced by a person can be compared to burn pain. Especially they are enhanced by the ingress of water on the affected areas. In this regard, scientists still have not come to a single decision – whether to take a bath with shingles.
Some doctors are of the opinion that it is better to avoid water procedures, others believe that baths with the addition of sea salt help them well, and a third group of doctors recommends taking only a shower, after which the body will be sufficiently wet with a towel.
Describing the nature of pain, patients indicate that these pains may be dull, burning, or boring, some people compare them with the passage of electric current across the affected area. The pain tends to increase after a minor mechanical or thermal impact. Pain can continue to bother a person even after the rash is completely gone. This occurs in about 15% of all people who have had shingles.
The reason for the residual pain is that the viruses have destroyed the tissue of the nerves, and their recovery will take some time. Most often, postherpetic neuralgia in old age can persist for several months, and in young people it can be no more than 10 days after the disappearance of the rash.
To set the correct diagnosis, a doctor most often needs to see a patient and clarify his complaints.
To clarify the diagnosis, it may be necessary to conduct additional tests: blood tests for antibodies, PCR diagnostics, cultivation of virus cultures. As a rule, such research methods are necessary to clarify the diagnosis in a blurred form of the disease and allow to differentiate shingles from the symptoms that are similar in symptomatology.
Is shingles contagious?
Is shingles contagious?
Dr. Arvind Mahadevan, MD: The herpes virus is very contagious, but shingles are transmitted only in isolated cases. Most often, the disease is diagnosed in the spring and autumn.
If a person has had chickenpox once before, then the likelihood of re-infection and the development of the disease after interacting with a sick chickenpox is not great. However, as shown by modern medical practice, an increasing number of people suffer from disorders in the immune system. This is due to the unfavorable environment, with an abundance of harmful products in the daily menu, with the presence of multiple pollutants in the air and in the water.
In addition to this, a small part of people did not develop a strong immunity to the infection that had been suffered once, therefore, upon contact with a person with shingles, re-infection may occur. So, the answer to the question whether shingles is a contagious disease is positive. This disease is contagious.
It is useful to take into account the following facts:
- The disease is transmitted from an infected organism to children and adults who have not previously encountered this virus.
- If a person has already had chickenpox in the past and has good health at the time of repeated contact with the infection, then no infection will occur.
- Contact of a child with a person suffering from shingles leads to the development of chickenpox.
- Due to the fact that most people have zoster virus in the body in a dormant state, every person has the risk of developing shingles.
- The disease is contagious until new bubbles appear on the patient’s body. When they are opened and covered with a crust, the virus poses no threat in terms of infection.
Shingles on face. How does shingles start?
Shingles on the face is called a skin disease that is of viral origin. A painful rash appears on the epidermis, bringing not only physical discomfort, but also aesthetic, because it looks completely unattractive.
According to numerous studies of shingles on the face, it is found in 15 cases out of 100 thousand. Despite the low prevalence, the disease has a recurrent course and may be accompanied by negative consequences.
Most often, shingles on the face is manifested in the winter season at low temperatures. There is also an age factor: the highest incidence is observed among people who are in middle and old age.
Most often, the development of shingles on the face is associated with a decrease in the protective function of immunity due to age-related changes. At the same time, there is a decrease in the production of endorphin and the restriction of the absorption of vitamins, which is necessary for the normal functioning of the body, increasing its resistance to diseases.
How does shingles start?
The first manifestations are common symptoms of herpes zoster on the face: general weakness and malaise, increased fatigue even after slight physical exertion, headaches, fever, muscle pain.
Over time, on those areas of the skin on which the rash will soon appear, an itchy syndrome and a tingling sensation occurs. Such symptoms are present from several hours to several days.
As intoxication increases, the overall temperature rises, body aches and chills increase. Shingles is manifested in the form of characteristic rashes on the skin. Initially they have a reddish-pink hue. The diameter of the bubbles – up to 5 mm. After about a day, the rash turns into bubbles, which can merge with each other, forming one continuous spot.
The defeat of the skin is accompanied by its hyperemia (redness), swelling. The fluid in the bubbles is transparent, but may eventually become cloudy. Every day the number of neoplasms increases.
Approximately in a week from the beginning of formation of rash, its gradual drying takes place. In its place, yellow crusts are formed, which disappear, leaving behind a pigmentation on the epidermis.
In places of localization of rash there is a strong pain syndrome. This can be explained by the fact that nerve fibers that are responsible for pain are also affected. The discomfort has a drilling, burning or shooting character and is located along the affected nerve.
Shingles in the eye. Shingles pain treatment
Shingles appears on the eye in the form of asymmetrical lesions on the skin of the forehead and eyelids. When a rash appears, patients complain of marked neuralgic pain. Against the background of pain, sensitivity to stimuli is increased, and there is also a disorder in the sensitivity of the affected areas, accompanied by a feeling of numbness and tingling.
The defeat of the skin of the eyelids is accompanied by high body temperature, a painful sensation of cold and a headache. There is inflammatory swelling of the eyelids, there is a feeling of unbearable itching, burning and tension of the skin. Small vesicles with a clear liquid appear on the affected eyelid. With timely treatment, the bubbles dry out and become covered with a crust.
In the absence of adequate treatment, vesicles with liquid increase in size, as a result of which tension and rupture of the protective membrane of the bubbles occurs. The fluid is released, erosions are formed. Ophthalmologists note that the advanced form of the disease leads to the growth and merging of bubbles. Under the shell of these bubbles a purulent fluid is formed.
Attention! Ophthalmic shingles can provoke vesicular formations on the conjunctiva and in the cornea area. Such formations often lead to serious infectious diseases and partial loss of vision.
With timely treatment for help from an ophthalmologist, a diagnosis can be made by a doctor on the basis of history and current clinical picture of the disease.
Shingles pain treatment
Treatment of shingles pain is carried out under the guidance of a specialist. Treatment and prevention of this disease is carried out through immunotherapy. When a complex or advanced form of the disease requires chemotherapy and microsurgical treatment method.
Drug treatment is carried out using well-known antiviral drugs:
Ophthalmologists note that Acyclovir is the most effective drug in the treatment of ophthalmic herpes disease. This drug has a selective effect and has a wide range of antiherpetic action.
The drug Acyclovir has three dosage forms – ointment, tablets and solution for intravenous administration. For the treatment of ophthalmic herpes prescribed drugs interferons. Such drugs include leukocyte interferon and interlock.
Shingles in adults
The following forms of shingles are distinguished in an adult:
- The eye form of the manifestation leads to the disease of the trigeminal ganglion. In this case, there is a danger to eye health.
- Disseminated form of manifestation, it is also called common. It develops with the appearance of rash over the entire surface of the skin.
- Gastrointestinal manifestations is the most common form. She has typical manifestations.
- Meningoencephalitis form – exacerbation of the virus occurs in a severe form. A type of virus manifestation initiates meningoencephalitis. The most dangerous manifestation of infection, is fraught with serious consequences.
- The auricular form manifests itself by rashes in the auditory canal, hearing can be lost.
- Gangrenous – with black scabs, especially severe pain and the need for long-term treatment (the disease resolves after 3 months, scars remain on the skin);
- Generalized – with the external manifestations characteristic of chickenpox, more often it happens not in young people, but in the elderly.
The disease is distinguished by stages:
- The first 1-3 days – the prodromal stage (the appearance of symptoms characteristic of the disease);
- 3-20 days – acute stage;
- Starting from the 20th day and up to three months – convalescence (recovery period of damaged tissues);
- Stage of remote consequences (can last up to three years).
Shingles Causes in adults
The virus belongs to the category of neurodermatotropic, therefore it is able to infect epithelial cells of the skin and nervous system. The virus is in all people who have suffered chickenpox or in contact with the patient. With a decrease in the immunological resistance of the organism, the virus wakes up and is activated again.
Most often, herpes zoster is diagnosed in adult elderly people with noticeable physiological extinction of all body functions, including immune protection. However, the appearance of herpetic eruptions on the body of a teenager is not excluded.
The incidence of shingles:
- up to 15 years – occurs in 5% of cases;
- up to 20 – in 10% of cases;
- older than 50 – 66%;
- over 80 years old – 50%.
These statistics results are due to the fact that in humans after 50 years the body’s defenses are significantly weakened, and it is difficult to retain control of the virus, which subsequently provokes its manifestation.
As a result of a decrease in the immune reactivity of a person under the influence of certain factors, the virus is activated, which causes inflammation of predominantly nerve intervertebral nodes and posterior spinal roots, which manifests itself as symptoms of shingles.
The only effective pharmacological agent directed against the cause of the disease are antiviral drugs, which include:
- Acyclovir (Zovirax) – taken for 7-10 days at 800 mg 5 times a day.
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex), which is the second-generation acyclovir, is taken within 1 week, 1000 mg 3 times a day.
Treatment of shingles
If herpes zoster does not cause any health problems, then there is no point in treating it. The disease in mild form passes on its own on average in two weeks.
However, the older a person is, or the worse his immune system functions, the higher the risk of developing complications. These people need to undergo specialized treatment with antiviral drugs. If therapy is abandoned, serious health problems can develop.
Antiviral shingles medication
Regardless of the age of the patient, access to a doctor in the presence of symptoms of shingles is necessary. He may recommend taking such drugs as:
- Zovirax (Acyclovir),
- Valtrex (Valacyclovir),
These drugs have antiherpetic activity.
This antiviral pills are taken either orally or injected in the form of injections. They contribute to the speedy recovery of the skin and quick relief from the symptoms of the disease. It is not precisely established whether antiviral therapy has any effect on the occurrence of pain after shingles.
The duration of the course will be determined by the doctor, most often it lasts from a week to 10 days.
What to do if you have shingles? Best treatment for shingles
Since shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus belonging to the herpetiform family, it is necessary to use drugs that can destroy these microorganisms for its effective treatment. Currently, the following remedies are available that are effective specifically to influence the cause of shingles:
- Antiviral drugs (Acyclovir, Valacyclovir);
- Immunostimulating preparations from the group of interferons or interferonogens (Cycloferon, Genferon, Copaxone, etc.).
In addition to the above preparations, external agents are effective in the treatment of shingles. Currently, antiseptics are used to treat lesions, which are necessary for the prevention of bacterial infection, and antiviral ointments that destroy the virus, have anesthetic effect and accelerate the recovery and restoration of the normal structure of the skin.
The most effective and safe antiseptics are the following – “green paint”, a strong solution of potassium permanganate, boric acid, liquid Castellani, Calamine lotion, calendula tincture.
An effective and safe ointments with antiviral components are the following:
The above external and internal preparations are the most effective and necessary means for the treatment of shingles.
Physiotherapeutic methods have a good effect (ultraviolet irradiation, UHF, electrophoresis with Novocain), which are used in combination with antiviral and immunostimulating preparations.
In addition, in the treatment of shingles, various painkillers are required. Moreover, analgesics are used in the midst of the disease and continue to receive them after the disappearance of rashes on the skin.
The duration of pain medication depends on the rate at which the postherpetic pain syndrome disappears, which may persist for several weeks or even years after the disease.
Today, for shingles, the following options for painkillers are effective:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Aspirin, Ketorolac, Naproxen, Nimesulide, Ibuprofen, etc.);
- Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Doxepin, Melipramin, Clomipramine, etc.);
- Anticonvulsants (Gabapentin, Pregabalin);
- Novocain blockade;
- Narcotic analgesics (Oxycodone, Tramadol);
Valtrex medication for herpes zoster shingles
Valtrex is prescribed by the doctor. It is usually used to treat various forms of the herpes virus in adults.
- For the treatment of herpes simplex type 1 and 2, which are characterized by manifestations of infection on the skin and mucous membranes of the patient. Moreover, it is used both in the case of primary infection and in recurrent conditions, especially in sexual herpes.
- For the treatment of Varicella-Zoster virus, which manifested itself as shingles. It will help speed up the healing process and reduce pain.
- If the first symptoms of a cold on the lips (herpes simplex type 1) appear, Valtrex appointed during this period will not allow the infection to develop and, therefore, will help to prevent the appearance of rashes.
- For the prevention of frequent manifestations of the virus in herpes 1 and 2 types.
- In case of sexual (genital) herpes, taking this antiviral drug will help reduce the risk of contracting a healthy partner, but remember that the probability of infection decreases only if safe sex (condoms) is practiced.
- To prevent the onset of cytomegalovirus infections after transplants of internal organs, as well as to prevent the development of other viral infections.
As contraindications, the instructions indicate individual intolerance to the drug itself or its components, and you should also be careful in patients with clinically severe forms of HIV.
In addition, there is also a number of warning instructions. So patients who may experience dehydration, especially for older people, should pay special attention to the water balance and drink enough fluids. Patients with renal insufficiency also need to be careful, as they may develop neurological complications.
Under the supervision of a physician, people with moderate or severe cirrhosis should receive the drug. And although these diseases do not require correction of the dosage, there is very little data on the treatment of such patients, so it can be considered that this process is not yet fully understood. There is no information about the effect of large doses of Valtrex on people suffering from other liver diseases, so in these situations, too, everything must be under the strict control of the doctor and no amateur.
For the treatment of herpes simplex, Valtrex is prescribed at a dosage of 500 mg twice a day. If the treatment is carried out re-occurrence of infection, then get the pills within 3-5 days. If there are frequent recurrences, you need to take the drug within 5-10 days. What is important, the medicine should be given after the first symptoms: itching, burning or pain. If there are symptoms of labial herpes (cold on the lips), then the drug is prescribed in an increased dose, but only one day. Once 2000 mg and the second time 2000 mg, after 12 hours.
For the prevention of herpes simplex virus, Valtrex is prescribed in a volume of 500mg once a day. If the manifestations of infection are observed more than 10 times a year, then it would be better to divide this dose into 2 doses, that is, 250 mg twice a day. For those who have disorders in the immune system, the drug is recommended to take 2 times a day, 500 mg for 4-12 months. More information can be obtained from the doctor.
If Valtrex is used for the prophylactic treatment of genital herpes, to reduce the risk of contracting a healthy partner, with a repetition rate up to 9 times a year, then the following scheme is used:
- With regular sex life – 500 mg once a day, the course is 1 year;
- With irregular sexual activity at the same dosage (500 mg / day) 3 days before the intended act.
During the development of the disease of shingles, that is, with the Varicella-Zoster virus, Valtrex is prescribed 1g 3 times a day. The course of treatment will be a week. It is desirable that between receptions there should be equal intervals, at most, not less than 6 hours.
For the prevention of cytomegalovirus infections in adults and children over 12 years old, Valtrex is recommended to be taken in a dosage of 2g 4 times a day. Treatment is usually given immediately after an organ transplant. Over time, the dose is reduced. When? This will depend on the process of creatinine excretion by the kidneys. In most cases, the course of treatment is 3 months, but if the patient is at risk, then the drug will have to be taken for a longer time.
Particular attention should be paid to patients who have kidney problems, especially renal failure. Valtrex dose is reduced depending on the reduction of kidney function. How much exactly the doctor decides to reduce the dose, based on the results of the tests. In this case, it is necessary to control the clearance of creatinine throughout the course of treatment.
Acyclovir for shingles. Acyclovir dosage for shingles
Dr. Arvind Mahadevan, MD: Treatment of shingles on the face in adults is carried out with the help of antiviral therapy, which helps not only to get rid of the unpleasant symptoms of the disease, but also reduce the risk of negative consequences.
In most cases, the drug “Acyclovir” (Zovirax) is prescribed for shingles. Acute treatment: 800 mg while awake (5 times daily) for 7-10 days.
You can replace the medicine with Valtrex, which must be taken 1000 mg daily (no data on efficacy if started 72 hours after rash). An approximate course of antiviral therapy is 7 days.
To eliminate pain in the affected areas, you can use drugs with an anesthetic effect. This group includes analgesics, for example, Pentalgin, and nonsteroidal drugs, for example, Diclofenac.
Patients with shingles, it is forbidden to rub the place with rashes during washing, use salts and oils, which are added to the bath during the adoption of water procedures. Forbidden actions include the application to the bubbles of ointments with an irritating effect, iodine, brilliant green, other coloring preparations.
In combination with the main treatment of shingles, you can use and folk remedies, but only after the consent of the attending physician. For example, a decoction of an immortelle (2 tablespoons per 400 ml of water) used for carrying out compresses that need to be applied to the affected areas will be effective for 20 minutes (three times a day).
What to do when you have shingles? Zovirax for shingles
Drug Zovirax is available in several dosage forms, and is a convenient immunostimulant, which is used, both externally and locally, and inside, in the form of tablets or injections. Zovirax acts against viruses, including such common ones as herpes (simple and genital), chicken pox, Epstein – Barr and cytomegalovirus. Accordingly, Zovirax preparations are used to treat infections caused by the listed viruses, including chickenpox in children and adults, herpes (on the lips, genitals), etc.
Treatment of varicella and shingles:
For the treatment of varicella and shingles, the recommended dose of Zovirax is 800 mg 5 times a day; the drug is taken every 4 hours, except during the period of night sleep. The course of treatment is 7 days. The drug should be prescribed as soon as possible after the start of infection, as in this case the treatment is more effective.
The active ingredient of any dosage form of Zovirax is the substance acyclovir, which has antiviral activity. The cream acyclovir concentration is 5%, or 50 mg per 1 g. The tablets contain 200 mg. In the eye ointment – 3%, or 30 mg per 1 g. In the lyophilisate – 250 mg per bottle. As an auxiliary component, each dosage form contains its own chemical compounds, which are necessary for people with allergic reactions to know.
The therapeutic effects of tablets, injections, ophthalmic ointment and Zovirax cream are due to the antiviral component – acyclovir. The drug in any form acts the same, only the scale of the therapeutic effect differs.
So, when taken orally in the form of tablets or injections, Zovirax has a systemic antiviral effect – that is, it kills the pathogen in the cells of various organs and systems. And when used topically (for example, in the eyes) or externally (for example, for treating rashes with chickenpox), Zovirax kills viruses only on the surface of the skin or mucous membranes, penetrating little into the systemic circulation.
That is, in this case, the antiviral effect of Zovirax will only be on the area that has been treated with a cream or ointment. But the mechanism of action is exactly the same with any method of application of drugs.
Zovirax Pills prescription
200 mg pills are prescribed:
- With simple genital virus and labial herpes. Treatment requires a daily dose of 1000 mg, divided into 200 mg. Accepted at least 5 days, if necessary, the course increases to 10 days.
- For the prevention of frequent manifestations of herpes simplex in the form of rashes on the genitals and colds on the lips. The instruction recommends for patients with good immunity to prescribe the drug in a portion of 200 mg after 6 hours, that is, 800 mg per day. There are cases when “Zovirax” brings the best result at lower doses – this is a dose of 200 mg in 12 hours (2 times a day).
- When chickenpox or shingles caused by herpes Zoster. The dosage is 800 mg at a time. A day is not more than 3200 mg, which are divided into 4 daily doses.
Shingles treatment at home. Home remedies for shingles
Treatment of shingles at home.
Dr. Arvind Mahadevan, MD: Shingles treatment is in the competence of a specialist. The doctor examines the patient and in the event that the disease does not pose a threat to the life of the person, he may recommend to carry out therapy at home.
Tips on how to deal with the disease and what you should not do:
- Hands should be washed with soap after each fact of contact with the affected skin.
- Do not scratch, scratch or otherwise traumatize the localization zones. Any mechanical damage increases the risk of attaching a secondary infection and can cause suppuration or bacterial contamination. When itching becomes impossible to tolerate, you should consult with your doctor about taking a drug. Such a remedy can act Suprastin.
- Do not allow pressure on the affected skin, you cannot rub it with clothes.
- Artificial piercing or rupture of bubbles with serous contents is unacceptable. They must be resolved naturally.
- Until the moment when the bubbles with the liquid remain on the skin, you can alleviate your own state by applying a sterile gauze cloth to them. It should be pre-moistened in cool water.
- When the bubbles are destroyed and covered with a crust, it is necessary that they do not get moisture. The areas with crusts must remain dry, therefore compresses are excluded, water procedures are minimized.
- Any ointment with antibacterial components, except those recommended by the doctor, is prohibited.
- The use of plaster is prohibited, it will only lengthen the process of healing and tissue repair.
- If suppuration of the sores occurs, then a specialist is required.
When do I need to see a doctor? Shingles virus treatment
It is known that symptoms similar to the symptoms of shingles can occur due to other diseases that also pose a threat to health. Therefore, if any rash appears on the skin, you should visit a therapist, a dermatologist, or an infectious disease specialist.
After the examination, the doctor will confirm the diagnosis and prescribe treatment.
Be sure to visit the doctor in the following situations:
- The presence of symptoms of the disease in a young child, or in infants.
- The presence of signs of the disease in an elderly person.
- If signs of shingles appear in a pregnant woman.
- If a person has cancer or is being treated for cancer.
- If a person takes drugs that affect the functioning of the immune system. It can be: Azathioprine, Methotrexate, Mercaptopurine, etc.
- If a person with symptoms of shingles has undergone transplantation of internal organs and is taking medication to reduce the risk of rejection.
- At the symptoms of the disease developed against the background of a chronic infection.
Applying for emergency medical care is necessary if, against the background of shingles:
- There are severe headaches;
- There is vomiting and nausea;
- There is tension in the occipital muscles;
- There is a high body temperature, chills;
- The patient loses consciousness;
- The patient experiences a violation of taste, smell, his hearing is reduced;
- If confusion occurs;
- There are cramps;
- There is dizziness;
- There is pain in the ear.