Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Overview

Herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles, is caused by the same virus as chicken pox. Once an individual has suffered from chicken pox, the virus can remain dormant and lead to herpes zoster years after the initial infection.

When a herpes zoster outbreak occurs, there is initially a period of fever, chills, and fatigue. After three or four days of these symptoms, the skin may become very sensitive. Small blisters usually form, break open, and become crusty. In about 30 percent of those affected (usually the elderly), the pain can persist for months, even years. In about two percent of cases, there are recurrent outbreaks.

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Symptoms

Pain, is almost always the first symptom of shingles, and on occasion it can be intense. Other symptoms include:

    • Burning, numb, itchy, and/or tingling skin
    • Skin that is sensitive to touch
    • A red rash
    • Blisters with fluid that burst and crust over

Symptoms of shingles will typically affect just one side of the torso, neck, or face. Some patients may experience symptomatic pain without developing a rash.

Additional – and more severe – symptoms of shingles include fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.

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Management

Similar to how Houston Wellness Clinic manages other viruses like herpes simplex, the solution for shingles involves steps to remove stress and toxins, correct the diet, modulate and strengthen the immune system, and apply nutritional support combined with specific anti-viral aids. For the local, painful eruptions, capsaicin cream may provide relief. Tea tree oil, which can be combined with bergamot or lavender, can be used to dry up the blisters. In some cases, acupuncture, especially electro-acupuncture, may also help.

Overall, Dr. Allibone manages each patient on a case-by-case basis, taking into account each individual’s medical background, lifestyle and test results. The goal in managing herpes zoster is to address the root of the problem instead of just alleviating the symptoms. Reach out to us today and let us create a specialized plan and ensure a path to optimal health.

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Learn more about how the Houston Wellness Clinic manages Shingles (Herpes Zoster).

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