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Shingles

Makes one itchy and scratchy

A fresh outbreak of shingles

A fresh outbreak of shingles

Shingles is caused by the virus called herpes zoster, a normally dormant form of the virus 'varicella zoster' which causes chickenpox.

While Chickenpox is very common in children and usually only causes mild illness. Once someone has had chickenpox, they are immune to further infection. However, the virus remains in the body for life.

Normally, the varicella virus lies dormant and does not cause any further health problems. But if the immune system, which normally protects the body against infection is weakened, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles.

These often appear on the chest and back, and they begin with a reddening of the skin followed by a painful rash of small blisters.  These soon dry and become crusty in appearance like psoriasis. Therefore, getting a diagnosis is important to eliminate one.

In the initial stages of shingles, they are experienced as a mild itching or tingling feeling which if left untreated result in increasing sharp, aching, or stabbing pains to the extent sufferers can't even bear the feel of clothes and at its worst, shingles can appear on the face where there is a danger of them causing blindness and anyone with shingles is very contagious to anyone who has not had chickenpox, however, shingles itself is not contagious.

An episode of shingles is a sign of imbalance and a weak immune system. In this condition, the body is vulnerable to many diseases.

Treatments

Medically, antiviral and pain medications are prescribed for the control of symptoms and the affected area which must be kept covered and dry. Doctors may prescribe treatment with Famvir, Zovirax (aciclovir) creams or Valtrex tablets which do not work for all the patients, but generally if treatment if taken up within 72 hours of the first appearance of symptoms, they often reduce the severity of an outbreak.

Holistic treatment recognises a weakened immune system and recommends nutrition and exercise to improve general health. Colloidal silver cream and other herbal preparations relieve the rash and discomfort.

As with psoriasis, completely eliminate all sugars and processed foods from your diet, then adopt a natural wholefood diet and continue to exercise.

1st Aide at Home
Apply cold moist dressings to the affected area for a few minutes and then let the area dry.  (coolness is soothing & heat is irritating, so avoid heat, synthetics, tight clothes and fabrics like wool.)
Apply silver cream
Apply calamine lotion
Apply lysine cream
Take vitamin E and C, apply vitamin E (as an oil) to the affected area.

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