Combating Resistance Tax Aide Herpes zoster, more commonly known as shingles, is a painful viral infection caused by varicella zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a childhood attack of chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in the nerve cells that extend from the spinal cord or the brain. Years to decades later, the virus can be reactivated, resulting in an eruption of skin lesions. (Therefore, you cannot develop shingles unless you have had an earlier case of chickenpox.) The blistery rash characteristic of shingles follows a line on one side of the body or face in an area supplied by a particular nerve. Health Solutions From Our Sponsors A. Postherpetic neuralgia can be really severe — affecting day-to-day life — and requiring pain management techniques that could include antidepressant or anti-seizure medications. So treating shingles in a timely fashion to lessen this possibility is crucial.  Hepatitis A   Meningococcal   Shingles (zoster)  ABOUT Become a Volunteer Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides Newborn & Baby Organic Acid Disorders "I wouldn't wish shingles on my worst enemy!" That's frequently the reaction of those who experience the pain of this common virus. Here's what you need to know to help prevent or treat the disease. Make a Complaint Diversity Resources Information for Providers Use the search box at the top of this page let dressings or plasters stick to the rash Warning Signs of a Heart Attack The term shingles is derived from the Latin and French words for belt or girdle, reflecting the distribution of the rash in usually a single broad band. This band is only on one side of the body in the large majority of people and represents a dermatome -- the area that a single sensory nerve supplies in the skin. The painful area may occupy part or all of the dermatome (see figure 1 below). Patients with shingles rarely need a hospital stay. But shingles can cause serious problems such as: A case of shingles will generally disappear in about a month. Although a shingles flare-up usually gets better on its own, treatments can help people heal more quickly and also can reduce the chance of other having other problems that can go along with shingles. Autism Rarely, doctors take a sample from the blisters to be analyzed or do a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Shots for Safety Leadership Pain Management Center Addressing the age-related decline in immunity that drives shingles disease risk1,2 Riddles About Shingles Donate Online Levetiracetam Resident International Grant MORE INFORMATION Donate to NINDS Senior Health: Shingles Endocrine System and Syndromes Synovial Fluid Analysis Protect Your Loved Ones close× Shingles. MedlinePlus. Cancerous Tumors Disorders of Nutrition Customer lookup Transplantation Services Find NINDS Clinical Trials Healthcare Management Sepsis Healthcare Practitioners Patient & Family Services Fibromyalgia Questions You are leaving and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to to learn more about other benefits. Chickenpox and shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus: Affiliated Organizations Exclusive program for members from OptumRx. News HealthDay Antibiotics : You might need these medicines if bacteria infect your skin and rashes. But if bacteria aren’t involved, then antibiotics won’t help. Health Tools Capsaicin: The active ingredient in chili peppers that sets your mouth on fire also has a numbing effect on the skin. It works by depleting a neurochemical called substance P that transmits pain signals. A number of studies have found that capsaicin is effective at relieving nerve-damage pain such as PHN. Most research has looked at prescription-only patches (Qutenza) containing a high concentration (8 percent) of capsaicin. You can find creams containing lower doses of capsaicin in drugstores, health food stores, and online. One of these, Zostrix, contains 0.1 percent capsaicin. Talk to your doctor about the right amount for you. Whatever that turns out to be, it's a good idea to wear disposable gloves when you apply capsaicin and to take care not to touch the eye area or any areas of broken or sensitive skin when using the cream. Most often, the reason for reactivation is unknown. However, reactivation sometimes occurs when the immune system is weakened by another disorder, such as AIDS or Hodgkin lymphoma, or by use of drugs that suppress the immune system (for example to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ). The occurrence of shingles does not usually mean that the person has another serious disease. Skin Care for Shingles What your doctor will do Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Chickenpox can live on in your nervous… Outlook (Prognosis) Birds & Blooms Tricyclic antidepressants : There are many of these medications that might help ease the pain that lingers after your skin has healed, such as amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin), and nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor). They may also help you with depression, if you have that in addition to shingles. Your doctor can tell you what the risks and benefits are. Immunizations Frequently Asked Questions about Total Joint Replacement Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Institute Pescado-enlatado Create the Good EmployersHealth PlansHealth SystemsAdvertisers Is the shingles vaccine right for me? Continue Reading Shingles Myths and Facts for Consumers Materials Prolactin Shingles: Hope Through Research • Relieve the itch. Soak in a bath to which you’ve added colloidal oatmeal. You could also try Domeboro, an OTC astringent in powder form that is dissolved in water to make a wet compress that may provide relief for pain and itching. The compress should be applied every 30 to 60 minutes, four to six times a day. Coping Aging & Shingles Language Assistance Services Lipase Reporte una queja Are pregnant or breastfeeding Bone Marrow Disorders Cleveland Clinic's Anesthesiology Institute unites all specialists in pain management and anesthesia within one fully integrated model of care to improve diagnosis, medical management and quality of life for our patients. 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