Shingles – symptoms in adults,causes, treatment and prevention for humans

Shingles, or herpes zoster is viral
a disease characterized by repeated
activation of the herpes virus, manifested by a common infectious
symptoms, disorders of the nervous system and accompanied
specific skin manifestations.

It is important to identify the symptoms in time and start the correct treatment.
This is the only way to avoid serious consequences for an adult.
person Next, we consider what the main causes and symptoms
characteristic of shingles, why is it important to pass
diagnose and start the correct therapy.

What is shingles?

Опоясывающий лишай у человека

Shingles (herpes) is a viral skin disease,
which manifests itself unilateral rash and is accompanied by
strong pain syndrome. The causative agent of the disease is a virus
ветряной оспы  — герпес зостеR.

Shingles affects peripheral nerves on some
skin area, which leads to intoxication of the body, inflammation
dorsal roots of the spinal cord and the appearance of a bubble rash. how
As a rule, adults and children are affected by this infection.
age of 10 years, and develops only in those persons who
suffered chicken pox.

Virus activation may be triggered by:

  • severe stress;
  • mental or physical fatigue;
  • decreased immunity after viral and infectious
  • the presence of malignant tumors.

The causative agent is a virus from the Herpes viridae family. He is capable
cause two pathologies that are completely different in the clinical picture:
ветряную оспу (ветрянку) и опоясывающий герпес (лишай). itт
the virus is a nucleotide with an oval membrane,
достигающий в диаметре 30-five0 нм. The most optimal temperature
for its development and reproduction is the temperature of 37 degrees

Herpes practically does not affect children, the disease is mainly
diagnosed in adults and older people. Moreover, with
contact of the patient with shingles with a healthy baby,
baby develops typical chickenpox.


There are the following forms of shingles in an adult

  • Ocular manifestation leads to trigeminal disease
    node. In this case, there is a danger to eye health.
  • Disseminated form of manifestation, it is also called
    common. It develops with the appearance of rashes throughout
    skin surface.
  • The ganglion of the skin is the most common
    by form. She has typical manifestations.
  • Meningoencephalitic form – virus exacerbation occurs in
    severe form. A type of virus manifestation initiates
    meningoencephalitis. The most dangerous manifestation of infection, is fraught
    severe consequences.
  • The auricular form manifests itself by rashes in the auditory canal,
    hearing may be lost.
  • Gangrenous – with black scabs, especially strong
    pain and the need for long-term treatment (the disease goes through
    3 months, scars remain on the skin);
  • Generalized – with external manifestations characteristic of
    chickenpox, often not in young people, and in the elderly.

The disease is distinguished by stages:

  • первые 1-3 дня – продромальная стадия (появление
    symptoms characteristic of the disease);
  • 3-20 дни – острая стадия;
  • начиная с 20-го дня и до трех месяцев – реконвалесценция
    (recovery period of damaged tissues);
  • стадия отдаленных последствий (может длиться до трех
    years old).

Causes in adults

The virus belongs to the category of neurodermatotropic, therefore capable of
affect the epithelial cells of the skin and nervous system. Everyone has the virus
people who suffered chickenpox or in contact with the patient.
With a decrease in the immunological resistance of the organism, the virus
wakes up and activated again.

Quite often, herpes zoster appears in patients
exposed to various types of influences affecting the immune system. TO
These include:

  • leukemia,
  • neoplasms
  • chemotherapy treatments
  • long-term use of immunosuppressants and

TO факторам рискам, провоцирующим развитие данной патологии,

  • pneumonia,
  • tuberculosis,
  • syphilis,
  • meningitis,
  • alcohol poisoning, arsenic or mercury
  • sepsis,
  • flu,
  • cancer metastasis and HIV infection.

Most commonly, shingles is diagnosed in older adults.
people with noticeable physiological extinction of all body functions,
including immune protection. However, it is possible
herpetic eruptions on the body of a teenager.

Human age The frequency of shingles
до 1five лет
  • встречается в five% случаев
up to 20
  • in 10% of cases
старше five0
  • 66%
over 80 years old
  • five0%

These statistics are related to the fact that after
five0-ти лет защитные силы организма значительно ослабевают, и
it is difficult to retain control of the virus, which subsequently and
provokes its manifestation.

As a result of a decrease in the immune reactivity in a person under
exposure to certain factors, activates the virus,
which causes inflammation of predominantly nerve intervertebral
nodes and posterior spinal roots, which manifests itself in the form
symptoms of shingles.

The factors leading to a decrease in immune protection may

  • common acute infectious diseases, hypothermia,
  • pregnancy;
  • сахарный диабет или обострение хронических diseases;
  • sleep disorders and prolonged neuropsychic stress;
  • foci of chronic infections and intoxication;
  • long-term use of immunosuppressants, cytostatic and
    hormonal preparations of the glucocorticoid series;
  • HIV infection and cancer;
  • radiotherapy, chemotherapy.

Is shingles contagious for a person?

Shingles are contagious and it is important to understand which ones exist
pathways of transmission of dangerous viral pathology.

The following infection methods are possible:

  1. By airborne droplets, in which the virus is localized in
    mucous membranes of the carrier of infection, from where it enters the air
    Wednesday after coughing or sneezing. In the future, the virus remains in the form
    spray until a healthy person inhales the contaminated air.
  2. TOонтактным путем, при котором вирус проникнет в организм
    healthy person after direct skin contact
    покровами зараженного person

How many days are shingles contagious? Exactly as much as
bubbles of liquid appear and burst on the skin. how только они
covered with a crust – you can not be afraid of infection. Foci of infection
serves as a fluid that fills them, therefore, if a person
having rashes, touched them, and then – to objects,
available to other members of his environment – he exposes those around him
danger of infection.

It should be noted that the virus that causes shingles is very
unstable, it collapses when exposed to solar insolation,
disinfectants, high temperature.

Чаще всего вспышки  регистрируются осенью и весной.

  • In the mild form of the pathological process, skin nodules do not
    transformed into vesicles.
  • However, in severe disease, vesicular vesicles
    are transformed into ulcers, which after some time begin
    ulcerate. In this case, herpes zoster acquires a protracted
    character and lasts up to one and a half months.

Симптомы опоясывающего лишая у человека

With shingles, an erased course is often observed.
diseases, which means that the nervous system is present
viral particles that under adverse external or
internal environment can be activated and lead to reproduction
virus and the emergence of further clinical manifestations. Incubation
the period can be long – from the moment of infection to the manifestation
The first symptoms may take several years.

After activation of the virus in the body, even before the appearance of the first
external signs of the disease, the patient begins to feel unwell,
characteristic of flu or cold:

  • headaches,
  • temperature rise,
  • fever
  • chills,
  • digestive disorders.

В местах будущих высыпаний появляется покалывание, зуд  и
neuralgic pains. Часто боли становятся  жгучими и
unbearable, aggravated by movement and the slightest
by touch.  The process spreads along the nerve pathways.
trunks, intercostal branches and the trigeminal nerves.

Опоясывающий лишай на теле

If the virus is activated in the facial nerve, paralysis occurs,
among the signs which stand out:

  • asymmetry of the face;
  • the patient cannot inflate his cheeks, show his teeth;
  • rash appears in the auricle area.

In the vast majority of clinical cases, begins
herpes zoster acutely. it подразумевает под собой:

  • increase in body temperature of the order of 39 degrees, which
    accompanied by the addition of general toxic reactions (in the form
    chills, general malaise and headache).
  • At the same time, the zone of innervation of the spinal ganglia (one
    or several of them) is covered by characteristic skin
    rashes whose appearance is also accompanied by certain
    ощущениями (боль, онемение и пR.).

Period of rash. It starts after 2-4 days and depends on the form
diseases. Characteristic of each manifestation of the disease:

  • высыпания вначале выглядят как розовые пятна до five мм (см.
    a photo),
  • after they begin to form groups of small bubbles with
    liquid contents, initially transparent, 3-4 days later becoming
    dull, sometimes mixed with blood.

Опоясывающий лишай у человека

photo: shingles from day 1 to day 12

After a few days, the contents of the bubbles become
muddy, and the blisters themselves dry out and become covered with a crust. TOогда
the crust disappears, a red pigment remains on the skin. After
the chain of processes will end, the rash can recur.


Localization of rashes + photo

фото 1

фото 2

The rash is localized in the area of ​​the damaged nerve, it is
depends on what part of the nervous system “captured” the virus.
A few days later a bubble rash appears on the spot.
The bubbles have a small diameter, the contents are usually

The most common rash appears in the following areas of the body:

  • the area of ​​the trigeminal nerve on the face;
  • between the ribs;
  • upper and lower limbs;
  • groin area.

As the rash appears, an increase is observed. lymphatic
nodes on the patient’s body.

Characteristic feature of shingles is
one-sided localization of lesions, that is, papules appear
only on one side of the body.

In the non-complicated form, the duration is 3-4 weeks.
Sometimes, in mild cases, in the absence of severe pain,
herpes passes in 12-14 days.

Завершающая стадия

The final stage of shingles (the rash starts
decrease and dry up)

Symptoms for various forms of shingles

Sometimes the disease gives an atypical clinical picture:

  • Abortive form – there is no stage of formation of watery
    bubbles. With no skin rash, the pain is the same.
  • Bullous form – increasing vesicles
    merge to form bubbles of large diameter.
  • Hemorrhagic form – deep tissue destruction with
    damage to the capillaries of the skin leads to the filling of bubbles
    by blood. Healing occurs with the formation of scars and dimples on
  • Gangrenous form – in place of the bubbles formed deep
    ulcers. Healing is delayed, eventually forming in their place
    rough scars.

See also: the main types of depriving a person


Herpes virus that causes shingles,
affects primarily the human nervous system. He is significantly
weakens the immune system and overall body resistance. From here and
The many serious side effects that this can cause

It should be remembered that the complications of the wrong treatment of the disease
may persist for many years. At the same time there is a strong
pain impairing the patient’s quality of life. Avoid development
negative consequences will only help timely address
specialist and properly selected treatment.

The most common ones are:

  • paralysis, resulting from the defeat of motor
    branches of nerves;
  • inflammation of the lungs, duodenum, urinary
    a bubble;
  • eye damage of varying severity;
  • paralysis of the facial nerve and skewed face to one side.

Due to the risk of complications, doctors urge patients
refuse self-medication and seek help on time
specialized institutions.


Laboratory studies play a very important role, since they give
the ability to determine with 100 percent accuracy
the virus is a source of problems.

Shingles tests:

  • Polymerase chain reaction.
  • Immunofluorescence analysis.
  • Serological method.
  • Test for lymphoblastic transformation (for infants in

One of the most common tests is polymerase chain.
reaction, for its holding takes the contents of the vial and blood
the patient. The analysis reveals the exact type of herpes virus through
isolation of its DNA and antibodies to the virus.

Лечение опоясывающего лишая у взрослых

Patients diagnosed with severe herpes zoster
herpes, without fail hospitalized in infectious
стационаR. it объясняется тем, что для людей, у которых
there is no immunity to the herpes zoster virus, they are
sources of infection.

In the case when the patient is treated on an outpatient basis.
conditions, he is assigned:

  • symptomatic therapy aimed at relief of pain
  • Antiviral medications are also shown.
    warning secondary infection through serous contents

Shingles treatment has the following objectives:

  • reduce the number and area of ​​bubble eruptions;
  • reduce the risk of complications;
  • accelerate the healing period;
  • reduce general intoxication syndrome;
  • reduce the risk of recurrence;
  • correct immunological disorders in the background
    herpes viral infection.

Drugs for adults

The only effective pharmacological agent
against the cause of the disease are antiviral
drugs that include:

  1. Ацикловир — принимается на протяжении 7-10 дней по 0,8 гR. five
    once a day.
  2. Valaciclovir, which is the second-generation acyclovir
    принимается в течение 1 недели по 1 гR. 3 times a day.
  3. Фамвир (фамцикловир) — в течение 1 недели по 0,five гR. 3 times a

If there is no effect from taking antiviral drugs,
antiviral therapy is continued until cessation of appearance
new rashes.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have the following
therapeutic effects:

  • reduce pain (analgesic effect);
  • reduce inflammatory reactions (anti-inflammatory
  • normalize body temperature (antipyretic effect).

With shingles, it is usually prescribed:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Ketoprofen
  • Piroxicam.

External treatment of lichen stains

To eliminate itching and swelling of the skin, ointments are prescribed – in
treatment of shingles has proven themselves drugs,
produced by Russian, German and British manufacturers.
To relieve unpleasant symptoms, the patient can use
means containing acyclovir, namely:

  • Zovirax;
  • Vivoraks;
  • Herpes;
  • Gerperax;
  • Atsigerpine.

In addition, lichen pockets are allowed to be treated with
�Viru-Merz-Serol, effective when treating a herpetic rash, and
also gel “Panavir” – antiviral immunomodulator.

In most cases, treatment of shingles in the elderly
patients may be performed on an outpatient basis, but sometimes required
emergency hospitalization.

The indications for a hospital stay are:

  • age over 7five years;
  • a history of immunodeficiency disorders; allergic reactions to
    medicines (especially
  • if previously the patient had anaphylactic
  • severe chronic diseases that can be exacerbated by
    some medications (especially for diseases
    kidney and liver).

It is unacceptable to irradiate patients with shingles
ultraviolet rays. It is known that with direct exposure to UV –
rays, the herpes virus dies, but in cases where it is
inside the irradiated organism, it is activated. it
causes an increase in depriving symptoms and the development of undesirable

In most cases, the prognosis of the disease is positive.
The active phase of the virus enters a latent state. Human can
feel completely healthy. Of the negative consequences –
For a long time, the pain of a neurological nature is disturbing.

Folk remedies

Shingles can be treated with folk remedies, but
only after the consent of the dermatologist. Some recipes have side effects.
effects, so before taking be sure to consult with
a doctor.

  1. Ash mixed with water helps soothe irritated skin,
    get rid of itching and discomfort. Best applied
    ash from birch logs. To improve well-being is enough
    3-five procedures. Gruel should grease the affected areas (keep
    composition 10-30 minutes).
  2. Prepare healing ointment can be from salt and soda. Their
    take on 1 st. l and after compounding, supplement with water to obtain
    composition, similar in thickness with sour cream. Skin treatment spend 3
    R. in a day. After 3 to 4 days should come relief.
  3. It is recommended to treat shingles at home
    birch tar. The affected foci are treated with this agent.
    epidermis. Also dries bubbles well and cope with itching.
    ointment based on sulfur and glycerin.
  4. Coltsfoot is a medicinal plant whose fresh leaves
    help get rid of the symptoms. Before using them you need
    grind to gruel consistency. Attach to the site of injury
    for 20 minutes. You can take a mother-and-mahecha inside, there are 2-3
    drops of grass juice and pour 1five0 ml of water (3 times a day, for 60 minutes
    before meals).
  5. Garlic oil. A clove of garlic is passed through the press, ready
    gruel squeeze using gauze, the resulting juice is mixed with
    a few drops of olive oil. Treat with this means
    skin herpes lesions several times a day – garlic oil will remove
    itching and will speed the healing process.
  6. Infusion helps to combat itching and inflammation on the epidermis
    бессмертника: 1 ч. l dry medicinal herbs pour a glass
    boiling water, insist at least an hour. Ready means
    обрабатывают болезненные участки кожи дважды in a day.


In the case when the herpes is recurrent, and already begin
actively develop symptoms, you must adhere to the following

  • if the disease is already developing, then as little as possible
  • since it is already known whether shingles are contagious, then
    public places must use a mask
    so that airborne disease does not begin to spread
    to others (ideally, the patient should be isolated from
  • you need to start treating shingles as early as possible
    person to avoid exacerbation of symptoms;
  • need to do to strengthen the immune system.

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