WHAT IS HERPES ZOSTER?
Herpes zoster (करात), is a viral disease recognized since ancient times and is widespread across the world. It is estimated that about 1/3rd of people develop Herpes shingles at some point in their life. It is quite unlikely to have a repeat attack of Herpes, but the after-effects may be severe Nerve pain. It is primarily caused due to Low Immunity in the body, which develops either as we grow older, or also due to poor eating/ lifestyle habits.
The known reason for Herpes at a later age is associated with Chickenpox at a young age. Once we get treated for Chickenpox, the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) stays inactive in our nerve cells near our Spinal Cord. During the lifetime whenever the immunity is weak, it reactivates, and travels from the nerves to the endings in the skin, producing blisters in the form of a patch/strip at a particular spot.
Despite the advancements in Medical science, there is no medication/ vaccination available to cure Herpes. However, a doctor may prescribe an Antiviral medication, Steroids, and mostly Pain Killers, the treatment focuses on getting rid of sores and limiting outbreaks. The creams can only help manage tingling, itching, and pain. All this can provide cosmetic relief, and most patients continue to complain of Postherpetic Neuralgia, i.e. acute pain in their nerves.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HERPES ZOSTER?
- Painful Red Skin Rash with Blisters (फफोले) in a localized area. These become cloudy or darkened as they fill with fluid.
- Typically the rash occurs in a single, wide stripe either on the left or right side of the body or face.
- Two to four days before the rash occurs there may be tingling or local pain in the area.
Some people develop ongoing Nerve Pain which can last for months or years, a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)
HOW DOES HERPES ZOSTER SPREAD
Herpes simplex virus is mainly transmitted via contact with the virus in sores, saliva, or surfaces in or around the mouth. Herpes simplex virus can be transmitted to the genital area through oral-genital contact to cause genital herpes.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE HERPES?
Herpes shingles usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum, or mouth. This is called a “herpes outbreak.” These blisters burst, leaving painful sores that can take a week or more to heal. Flu-like symptoms (for example, fever, body aches, or swollen glands) may also appear during the first outbreak.
HOW IS HERPES TREATED?
There is no cure for herpes. However, home remedies (daily use of oil massage) can prevent or shorten outbreaks.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER APPROACHES?
There is nothing wrong with having genital herpes. You don’t have to apologize for your infection status. Instead, be open and direct with your partner. If you confront the “I have herpes” conversation head-on, it’s unlikely to backfire.
HOW CAN I PREVENT THE TRANSMISSION OF HERPES?
Wash your hands with soap and water after any possible contact with the wound. Antiviral medication (also called suppressive therapy) is taken daily. Use male latex condoms. (Condoms can reduce your risk of getting HSV, but they do not provide complete protection.)