Thursday, August 9, 2012

Herpes Zoster Without Rahses: Is It Possible?

Let me start by giving you a short background information about Herpes Zoster. Even though it shares the name "herpes", but it is not a sexually transmitted disease. The common name for Herpes Zoster is Shingles and is caused by a virus Varicella Zoster. It is the same virus that causes chicken pox in children. After recovering from chicken pox, the virus remains in the body near nerve tissue in an inactive form, which reactive years later as Shingles. Therefore, Shingles only affect those people who had chicken pox in their childhood whereas all those without any history of chicken pox never develop Shingles.

Most commonly Shingles presents with pain, itching, burning, or tingling in a small section of one side of your body. Red rashes and fluid filled blisters develop a few days after pain. However, everyone does not experience same set of symptoms, small number of people may get shingles attack without any skin lesions. In those patients intense pain, tingling, and burning are the main features affecting one side of the body. I must say that Shingles without any rashes is not very common but quite possible.

As far as diagnosis is concerned, most physician confirm the diagnosis of Shingles after a physical examination, but in the doubtful cases blood test and/or scrapping/culture can be done. Anti-viral medications such as Acyclovir or Valacyclovir are very effective in reducing the severity and duration of Shingles if taken within 72 hours of the onset of rashes.

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