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Herpes zoster: Shingles should always be treated quickly
With shingles, it is important that it is quickly recognized and, above all, treated. Otherwise there are long-term health consequences. The infectious disease is triggered by the virus, which also causes chickenpox. Below we explain how symptoms manifest themselves and which treatment makes sense.
Get shingles treated quickly
Shingles (medical term: herpes zoster) is a viral disease that is externally recognizable by a streak-shaped rash with blisters on the affected parts of the body. The infectious disease is very painful for patients and occurs especially in the elderly or in patients with a weakened immune system. Health experts point out that the disease can be treated quickly.
Avoid long-term consequences
Shingles occurs as a late consequence of an infection with the pathogen (varicella zoster virus, short: VZV) of chickenpox.
This virus belongs to the group of herpes viruses. Hence the name "Herpes Zoster".
Patients who develop shingles should definitely see a doctor quickly and start therapy.
Because those who cannot be treated are at risk of long-term consequences such as post-zoster neuralgia (PZN).
"The nerve damage that leads to post-zoster neuralgia cannot be reversed," writes the Professional Association of German Internists (BDI) on its website "Internists on the Net".
According to the experts, treatment of shingles should best be started within 72 hours of the appearance of the skin changes or as long as there are still fresh blisters.
Antidepressants for pain
Powder and creams are used to treat the rash.
In addition, the pain must be alleviated so that it does not become chronic. With over-the-counter medications, however, you often don't get very far here.
“Not only common painkillers are used, but also anti-depressants. However, they are dosed lower than in depressive disorders, ”said the internists.
Special plasters and epilepsy are also available for treatment.
That people can die of shingles if the rash closes around the body is a humbug, according to doctors.
In most cases, shingles do not form in the belt area, but spread over the body, often also on the face.
In addition, the disease usually occurs unilaterally and can therefore not close in a circle.
Prevent serious illnesses
Sick people should always take care to avoid personal contact with pregnant women, since there is a particular risk of infection for the unborn child.
Transmission can cause chickenpox infection and lead to child developmental disorders.
As a preventive measure, vaccination against shingles is available, which does not offer 100 percent protection, but according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) can help prevent serious illnesses and very rare deaths. (ad)