Every fifth of us has experienced the burning pain, the increasing rash and growing blisters on any parts of their skin. Yes, shingles. What is even worse, some of us suffer from this phenomena more than once in our lives or even regularly. Current outbreaks of shingles have made the subject popular once more.
The issue with shingles is not new however it has resurfaced after it became common knowledge that it’s caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. This and other causes has led to the rise in popularity of pox parties. This is quite the hot topic in the US where over 100 cases of a disease that was considered eradicated have appeared, spreading over 16 states.
Let’s learn some facts about shingles to find out how to avoid and cure them.
Although the shingles manifest usually in people around and over 50 years of age there are some other factors that make a person more exposed:
- having had chickenpox since both afflictions have the same virus in the background
- weak immune system (typically during cancer treatment)
Also children especially under 2 are an easy target if their mother suffered from shingles during pregnancy.
Shingles can be prevented
Thanks to modern medical science, vaccination has been invented against this problem. Experts suggests to get the vaccination even if you have already been infected as you can avoid later diseases and serious complications. Any person over 50 is encouraged to get vaccine in order to prevent outbreaks.
Here are some other ways of preventing shingles:
- healthy dieting
- strengthening the immune system
- keeping hydrated
In the light of current outbreaks there are two camps holding different positions: the medics on one side that promote vaccination and the green side that advocates against vaccinations and promotes natural virus exposure.
The issue here is that green side is gaining more and more popularity and modern moms through pox parties and invite adults as well. Although officials have warned repeatedly against this it is still a common practice.
Taking care of the condition
In order to contain outbreaks of any sorts infected people should keep to themselves inside their homes and not get exposed to outside environment.
There are certain things one can do in these cases:
- avoid scratching
- ice packs alleviate pain
- painkillers alleviate pain
- oatmeal an colloid baths stop the itching
- loose clothes minimize scratching
Long Term Issue
Unfortunately shingles can cause more serious troubles. They can appear anywhere else on your body, including your genitals and be accompanied with more severe symptoms like fever or upset stomach. If reaching a critical phase it can lead to insomnia, chronic pain or depression. In this case it’s recommended to visit a doctor for exact diagnosis. The medic can also prescribe antiviral medications, usually acyclovir and rash relief medication, usually corticosteroids.