Symptoms of Zoster Virus

20/12/2010 17:44

If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above you should go and see your doctor right away, a doctor can quite easily diagnose this condition by the presence of the rash as well as looking of your medical history. If the symptoms that are displayed are not conclusive enough for a doctor to diagnose herpes then a scrape test or a blood test can be used in order to accurately diagnose the condition.

Shingles is a skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, the Varicella Zoster Virus. If a person is exposed when young to the virus, they develop the common chicken pox rash. After a few weeks the skin rash clears but the virus never completely leaves the body, remaining in the nervous system. Later, the virus can become active again, causing the shingles rash.


Herpes zoster usually clears on its own in a few weeks. However, a shingles sufferer may require pain relievers to ease the discomfort. Cool compresses may also bring relief. If the infection is diagnosed early, oral antiviral medication can be prescribed within 72 hours from the time the rash appears. Antiviral medication does not cure shingles, but it helps to heal the rash more quickly.

Again, there is no direct impact as such on the infant if the mother is infected with the virus and has no outbreaks. However, if she does have outbreaks, she should avoid direct contact between her lesions and her child. If the outbreaks are on the nipples, then breastfeeding should be avoided totally or only the unaffected breast should be used.

The herpes zoster infection starts out as reddish spots over an area of the body. These spots then turn into watery blisters. Eventually, they dry out and become crusty. The entire process normally takes a couple of weeks, but can take up to a couple of months. Herpes zoster runs along the nerves in order to reach the skin, causing intense pain as well as causing inflammation and nerve damage.

Shingles is not contagious, but the virus that causes it is. The zoster virus spreads by coming in contact with a person with an active zoster infection. You won't get shingles, but you may get chickenpox if you've never had it before. Varicella and herpes zoster are caused by the same virus, varicella zoster. Anyone who has a prior history of chickenpox before can get shingles, but is mostly seen in people who are 60 years old or older.

The varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox is not completely eliminated from the body after the symptoms of the disease disappear. The virus usually resides in the part of the nerve close to the spinal cord. The virus may become active again after lying dormant for decades. When this happens, it travels along the nerve to the skin.

The symptoms of shingles are dependent on the various nerves that it affects. Shingles, as a medical condition can affect all parts of the body. The primary symptom of shingles is extreme pain in one side on the body. The sensation could either be itchiness, a tingling sensation, a deep ache, or a person could also suffer from a lightning bolt like pain. Its quick, it's extreme and is intensely painful.

After a child has a bout of chickenpox, the virus lays dormant in the body and can manifest itself years later as shingles. It is unclear what triggers the outbreak of shingles but it seems to be more prevalent in people with compromised immune systems. This includes the elderly and those with other illnesses.

Viral reactivation ( reinfection) in an individual previously exposed to the varicella-zoster virus results in the development of herpes zoster (shingles). In this disease, small vesicles 3-5 mm in diameter occur in clustered patterns. Each cluster consists of 5-20 vesicles; numerous clusters are found in a linear distribution along a single dermatome. The eruption occurs unilaterally with little or no crossover at the midline.

Causes of herpes zoster vary. Eating spicy food or even a gentle wind can lead to herpes outbreaks. Aside from that, people who are constantly exposed to stress and weak immune systems are also more prone.

Just before a herpes outbreak, you will experience pain and burning sensation. This happens because the virus gets active and starts spreading through the nerves. As the virus reaches the skin, the redness appears in that area and after 2 to 3 days, blisters form on the skin which break subsequently and scab over. A usual herpes outbreak will last for 2 to 3 weeks after which the skin returns to normal.

Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which happens to be the same virus that causes chickenpox. It affects the nerve endings in the skin. Most common places on the body affected is the skin of the abdomen under the ribs, leading toward the navel, but can appear anywhere on the body.

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