December 8, 2022

What is Shingles? What are the Symptoms and How to treat them?

Shingles, also called Herpes Zoster or Varicella-Zoster virus, is a disease that causes painful lesions on the skin. These lesions are red and thin and look like small tubers. In most people who get shingles, the virus remains dormant in one part of the body. Although most people reactivate it only once during their lifetime. Shingles most frequently appear between 60 and 70 years old and after an acute febrile illness (e.g., influenza) with rash or blisters. This article provides information about shingles infection and its treatment options so you can deal with it sooner rather than later.

What are the Causes of Shingles?

Shingles are caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which is a member of the herpes family. This virus causes chickenpox in children, adolescents and adults. After the acute phase of the disease, the virus is integrated into the nervous system and remains dormant permanently. There is no specific cause of shingles, and it can occur in all age groups. However, it is more frequent in the elderly. There are different risk factors for developing shingles, including stress, fatigue, weakened immune system, long-term health problems, and certain medications. Shingles are extremely contagious and can spread from person to person through direct contact with fluid from the blisters. For example, if someone with shingles touches another person’s skin, fluid from the blisters might get into that person’s skin. Shingles can also be spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. An infected person can take antiviral medicines or vaccines to prevent or lessen symptoms and transmission.

Shingles Symptoms and Stages

The first symptom of shingles is pain which can be located in the same area where the rash will develop. The pain is often described as burning or throbbing and is often accompanied by sensitivity to touch. In most cases, the pain is localized and can be treated with painkillers. In rare cases, the pain is widespread. The shingles rash is characterized by a single stripe of red, itchy and sometimes painful blisters. The rash usually appears on one side of the body, and the lesions can last from one to three weeks. There is no fever associated with shingles. The symptoms can last from one to two weeks. About 20% of the patients can have a severe form of shingles with complications like postherpetic neuralgia, ophthalmic shingles, shingles recurrence or herpes zoster oticus.

How to get rid of shingles fast

No matter how unpleasant shingles are, it does not last forever. Shingles go away by themselves in about two weeks, but there are things you can do to speed up the process and reduce the pain. Ice: At first, ice is the last thing you want to apply when you have a headache from shingles. However, it can help reduce pain and swelling. You can apply ice cubes wrapped in a towel or a bag of frozen peas. You should apply the ice for 20 minutes at a time and then rest for 30 minutes before reapplying. Hydrate: Under normal circumstances, water is the best way to rehydrate your body. If you are experiencing pain, you may want to try something with a bit of a kick. The point of dehydration is to calm the burning sensation that comes with shingles. Rest: Getting rest is very important when you are experiencing shingles.

If you have a shingles outbreak on your face, it can be very difficult to get sleep. It can help to apply an ice pack to your face (keeping the eye area free of ice), or a warm washcloth can also be helpful. It is important to get enough sleep for your immune system to fight off the shingles and for your body to heal itself.

Vaccination against shingles

You should consult a doctor about vaccination if you have had shingles or have been exposed to the virus and suffer from a weakened immune system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for people aged 50 years or older who are at high risk of shingles. This risk is due to the weakening of the immune system due to aging. There are two shingles vaccines available in the United States: Zostavax, which is a live, attenuated vaccine and Shingrix, which is a non-live, recombinant vaccine. Both vaccines offer protection against shingles and their complications, as well as against postherpetic neuralgia. They are highly recommended for people 50 years or older, considering their greater risk of contracting this disease.

Shingles Treatment Options

Shingle is a viral infection that does not require antibiotic treatment and does not respond to antibiotics.
Treatment is for the symptoms and not for the virus itself. However, treatment is important since shingles can lead to
complications. Short-term and long-term treatment options include antiviral drugs, pain relievers, and other home
remedies. Shingle is a painful condition, and some of the best shingles treatment options are the ones that can quickly
reduce pain and improve healing. The doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat your shingles.

Antiviral drugs such
as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir can reduce the severity and duration of shingles symptoms. They can also
reduce the risk of developing complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia.


Shingles is a painful and contagious condition caused by the varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox
reactivates. The most common shingles symptoms include blisters, headaches, and tingling or numbness in the area of
the rash. Shingles can be treated with antiviral medication or antibiotics, but it is important to get treatment as soon as
possible once the rash appears.