Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus (Herpes Varicella-Zoster) and historically has only affected the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. This is now changing and Shingles is occurring more and more often in middle aged adults. This change in epidemiology appears to be related to the introduction of the Varicella Zoster vaccination program in children. There is growing evidence that contact with young children who have chicken pox boosts an adult’s immunity and that contact once every ten years is enough to maintain immunity and prevent the virus reactivation that causes shingles. As children are now being vaccinated and do not get childhood chickenpox there is no opportunity for an adults to get a boosting of their own immunity.
Shingles typically presents as a tingling sensation, followed by pain and then the rash and any part of the body can be affected. It is nearly always on one side of the body and the most common area for the rash is the abdomen.
Shingles can occur without the rash and this is called zoster sine herpete. It is difficult to diagnose and there is some evidence that Bell’sPalsy is actually zoster sin herpete on the face.
Shingles can be very painful but usually resolves itself in a few weeks however some patients go on to suffer with the pain and this is called post herpetic neuralgia.
Patient QI have created the chart to give you as much information as possible on the many different treatments and therapies that have been shown to help with the symptoms of shingles. These include therapies for post herpetic neuralgia.
Click on the boxes and this will take you to the detailed information for each treatment group, enabling you to decide which treatments might be good for you.
You can also download or print out the information and use it as the starting point for discussions with your physician, MD, Naturopath, or coordinating therapist.