Shingles & Postherpetic Neuralgia
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful strip of blisters anywhere on the body. The condition is very painful but not life threatening, and with early treatment complications can be minimized. Postherpetic Neuralgia is a painful condition that occurs as a complication of shingles. It is when the pain of shingles continues after the shingles have disappeared.
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The virus that causes chickenpox in children lies asleep in nerve tissue and resurfaces years later as shingles. Aging immune systems (50+), weakening diseases (HIV), cancer radiation or chemotherapy, or certain medications (Prednisone) can increase the chance of shingles. There is an adult vaccine that lowers the chance of shingles and can prevent long-term pain should a patient contract the disease.
There is no cure for shingles, but the condition can be treated with antiviral and pain medicine(s), and by keeping skin sores clean.
Source: Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Practical Pain Management
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