Shingles is a viral infection that occurs when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates. The virus causes both chickenpox which is the acute invasive phase, and shingles which is the reactivation of the latent phase. It occurs frequently in elderly patients with HIV infection and is more severe in immunosuppressed patients. It manifests as a painful rash of watery blisters.
Treatment is with antiviral drugs that are more effective when they are administered within the first 72 hours.
The main complication is postherpetic neuralgia, which occurs in 10 to 15% of patients and manifests as pain that can persist for months after the vesicles have disappeared.
Risk factors include old age and a weakened immune system:
- Age> 50 years old
- Certain diseases that weaken the immune system: HIV / AIDS, cancer
- Cancer treatment: radio and chemotherapy
- Immunosuppressive therapy in organ transplant patients
- People who have a serious infection, have suffered trauma or are under stress
It is important to contact urgently in the following situations:
- When pain and rashes have appeared around the eye
- If you are> 60 years old
- If you or anyone you live with has a weakened immune system (due to cancer, immunosuppressive drugs or chronic illnesses)
- If the rash spreads and is very painful
The best prevention is vaccination. If you have one of the conditions mentioned, you can make an appointment at our clinic.