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Shingles: symptoms and treatment in adults, photo, forecast

The herpes virus is becoming familiar to more and more people. Most often, people who do not have medical education, associate herpes infection with eruptions on the lips.

However, it is worthwhile to know - one type of virus, namely herpes zoster, can cause chickenpox in children and shingles in adults.

In this case, unlike chicken pox, herpes zoster (lichen) is a rather painful disease. And if chickenpox in children passes without any treatment with the formation of a stable immunity, then the herpes zoster can recur many times and requires urgent treatment.

Knowledge of the first symptoms of herpes zoster, an effective scheme of treatment of the disease in humans and preventive measures will protect against complications and accelerate recovery.


Shingles - what is it?


photo rash

Shingles - what is it?

Herpes zoster virus first enters the body in cases of chicken pox disease. Elimination of varicose veins does not mean the death of an infectious agent. The virus is kept by the immune system in a weakened state and is constantly in the body after chickenpox.

Shingles - this is an external manifestation of the herpes virus, activated against a background of decreased immunity. The disease is registered only in people who have recovered from chicken pox!

The activation of herpes zoster is facilitated by:

  • supercooling,
  • transferred ORZ or influenza (any other disease leading to a sharp weakening of immunity),
  • stress,
  • a visit to the solarium or a long stay in the sun,
  • oncology and radiation therapy,
  • severe infections - HIV,
  • long-term administration of corticosteroid and treatment with immunosuppressants,
  • pregnancy (often the disease occurs without skin rashes and severe pain, but negatively affects the development of the fetus).

Is herpes zoster infected or not?

Shingles is an infection. . Therefore, the answer to the question of the contagiousness of the disease is unequivocal: yes, it is contagious . However, the incidence of herpes infection occurs according to the following rules:

  • Not previously sick with chickenpox (most often a child), after contact with the patient, shingles after about 21 days, develops chickenpox.
  • Symptoms of herpes zoster in adults - a characteristic rash on the body (see photos), severe pain along the nerves, flu-like condition - occur only in people with chickenpox who have weak immunity.
  • The risk of contracting a herpes infection directly depends on the consistency of immunity: the weaker the immunity, the higher the probability of the disease.

Most often, shingles are diagnosed in older adults with noticeable physiological extinction of all body functions, including immune defense. However, the appearance of herpetic eruptions on the body of a teenager is not ruled out.

Infection by shingles occurs by airborne and contact (the liquid of the vesicles contains a large amount of the virus) through.

What is dangerous shingles?

danger of shingles Skin rashes are not the most terrible manifestation of the disease. Herpes zoster is dangerous because it damages the peripheral nerves.

Being in the nerve endings, the virus in the active state destroys their structure, thereby causing unbearable pain in herpes zoster and a variety of neurological complications.

Symptoms of tinea in stages, photo

Symptoms of shingles in adults, photo

shingles in adults, photo of the rash character

Symptoms of shingles on the head and face

manifestations on the head and face

Watery vesicles on the body, complaints of severe pain and decreased performance - this is how shingles appear in the opinion of many people.

However, such a picture is observed only at the height of the disease, the onset of herpes infection is not accompanied by a skin rash, and therefore is often perceived as an ordinary cold.

Stages of shingles:

  • (гриппоподобная) The initial stage of herpes zoster (influenza-like)

Herpes zoster begins acutely. Suddenly, there is malaise, joint and muscle pains, a slight increase in temperature.

However, other symptoms interfere with the flu-like picture: on the skin, where herpetic eruptions soon appear (along the nerves, for example, along the costal arches), there is itching and burning. This symptomatology is observed for 1.5-4 days.

  • Stage of skin rashes

First, pale pink spots with fuzzy boundaries and a diameter of 2-5 mm appear along the course of the nerve damaged by the virus. Against their background, bubbles with a transparent liquid appear very quickly, regional lymph nodes increase. During the following week, the number of small vesicles increases significantly.

The shingles appear as a cluster of yellowish vesicles on one side of the trunk, as if encircling it. However, often herpetic eruptions appear on the face (part of the face innervated by the trigeminal nerve).

It is during this period that the most vivid clinical picture is observed: high temperature to 38-39ºС, unbearable burning pain, severe itching.

This condition can last up to 3 weeks, the duration of the disease depends on the degree of immunodeficiency. The intensification of pain during movement, contact of the skin with clothing seriously affects the overall well-being (nervousness, insomnia), and the patient's ability to work.

  • The stage of involution (formation of crusts)

Gradually the liquid in the herpetic vesicles grows turbid, they begin to dry out with the formation of yellow / brownish crusts. In their place in the normal course of the disease, a slight pigmentation remains for some time. However, the pain does not subside.

The typical course of herpes zoster is described above. Sometimes the disease gives an atypical clinical picture:

  • Abortive form - there is no stage of formation of watery vesicles. Against the background of the absence of skin rash, the pain is as intense.
  • Bullous form - increasing in size vesicles merge, forming bubbles of large diameter.
  • Hemorrhagic form - deep destruction of tissues with damage to the capillaries of the skin leads to the filling of the vials with blood. Healing occurs with the formation of scars and dimples on the skin.
  • Gangrenous form - in the place of the bubbles, deep ulcers are formed. The healing is prolonged, as a result, in their place, gross scars are formed.

Treatment of shingles in adults, drugs

Treatment of herpes zoster in adults with acyclovir Timely treatment of herpes zoster in adults will help to quickly eliminate painful symptoms and prevent the development of complications. In the complex of medicinal therapy deprive includes drugs:

  • Antiviral agents (Acyclovir, Valaciclovir, Penciclovir, Famciclovir) - in tablets and ointments. Drugs affect the cause of the herpes zoster - the herpes virus. However, they do not kill the infection, but only inactivate it. The greatest effectiveness of antiviral therapy is achieved when starting Acyclovir in the first 3 days of the disease. The course of treatment is 10 days.
  • To reduce pain in herpes zoster, NSAIDs (Meloxicam, Nimesil, Naproxen) and ointments with lidocaine are used. With unbearable pain, often novocaine blockade of the damaged nerve.
  • To normalize sleep and relieve nervous tension - hypnotics, sedatives.
  • Antihistamines (Suprastin, Tavegil, etc.) - reduce the itching.
  • Infusion therapy - IV infusion of Ringer's solution and 5% glucose with simultaneous intake of diuretics perfectly eliminate the symptoms of intoxication.
  • Local effects - diamond greens and Fukarcin for skin treatment (antiseptic and weak drying effect), Solcoseryl ointment for quick healing (used in the regression stage or with difficult healing ulcers).
  • Antibiotics (Gentamicin, Rifampicin, Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Oxacillin) - are suitable only in cases of attachment of bacterial infection and the development of pyoderma. Used in the form of ointments and tablets, in severe cases - in / in Ribavirin, Cycloferon IM.
  • Vitimanotherapy - B group vitamins will prevent the destruction of the nervous tissue and, in combination with other medications, help reduce pain.
  • Vaccination - the introduction of a weakened herpes zoster virus in combination with antiviral therapy is an excellent preventive measure that prevents the development of relapses.

Treat shingles with hospitalization is advisable only in cases of severe disease and the threat of complications. A qualified dermatologist determines the treatment regimen and the duration of the medication.

Self-medication - for example, corticosteroids, even in the form of ointments (Prednisolone, Gyioxyson, Triderm) - only worsen the patient's condition and, moreover, self-medication by domestic means can promote the spread of infection and the development of severe consequences.

Is it possible to swim when shingles?

Shingles - strict contraindication to bathing, shower. Sites with rashes and the surrounding skin should never be soaked to prevent the spread of infection.

It is permissible to partially wash hands / feet, wipe the neck and face with a moist napkin, provided there are no rashes on them. In this case, the patient must provide a personal towel and regularly change underwear.

How long are the pains from herpes zoster?

Even after effective treatment, in 70% of patients, intense pain persists for some time (several months and even years, on average - 3-6 months).

Postherpetic neuralgia is caused by the destruction of the nervous tissue, namely for the nerve tissue characterized by a prolonged recovery. Therefore, it is so necessary to begin complex treatment from the first days of the disease.


Unlike chicken pox, complications are very rare, shingles are fraught with serious consequences. In addition to scars on the skin and prolonged pain (postherpetic effects), the disease can provoke:

  • pyoderma (suppuration of herpetic vesicles);
  • eye damage, often leading to blindness;
  • meningoencephalitis;
  • neuritis / paralysis of the facial nerve ;
  • a violation of sensitivity and motor function (paresis, paralysis) of the limbs;
  • violation of respiratory function (respiratory paralysis), threatening rapid death;
  • problems with defecation (constipation, diarrhea) and urination (urinary incontinence or delay);
  • hepatitis, viral pneumonia;
  • in pregnancy - miscarriage, stillbirth, the birth of a baby with severe brain pathology, blindness, deafness.
2017-03-03 13:44:27
My shingles started for the first time in 30 years, and for 7 years I have been suffering from it. The first rash appeared in the area just below the waist. I did not even realize at first what it was. Then this reptile began vylazit on this place about once a month. or even more often. Acyclovir does not help. Than I only did not treat. Visited a bunch of doctors. Has made one million analyzes. In the end, nothing helps. Honey only and I am very well saved and quickly passes. But in the end, I got out on the opposite bread, right on the spot where I sit. It hurts to sit very much. And recently, a little more than five-ruble coin came out on his right hand just above the wrist. And in all the previous places of the same size. One doctor said that I probably have AIDS. I was in shock. Has gone has handed over analyzes in two places. There is no AIDS. The pain of eruption is not manifested, only if you touch the hearth. That's how I live. I'm waiting and afraid of new foci
2017-03-22 19:40:28
2017-04-12 19:47:37
Perhaps you are spoiled in the form of erysipelas need to visit an experienced sorceress
2017-04-30 10:52:25
Well, you girls give less psihutee less angry more to give time to children and all diseases will pass you will simply forget about them
2017-09-21 04:48:35
The causes of the disease should be sought primarily in stresses! I rummaged a lot of information, but why does everyone write the same thing! And the most effective method of treatment using quartz ("warm" quartz lamp) - no one! So they treated me 20 years ago and now I took and smeared what the doctor prescribed, but it was only worse !!! Until I took this lamp and for two days all the good thing crouched !!! Be Healthy!)) Take care of your nerves, all the diseases from them)))
2017-12-25 07:43:23
What to do with the abortive form of shingles-= will appear somewhere behind the back of the water .. pryshchik, at night I'll hamper the ascent, then tear me from the inside with a wild pain. Neither turn --- as if claws pierce and tear the body from the inside. What to do? How to treat?
doctor Daria
2017-12-26 12:31:49
When the abortive form of the bubbles, as a rule, are not formed. On the skin, only small papules are visible on the background of a red spot. This form takes several days. In your case, it is better to consult a dermatologist, most likely it is a usual sweating
2018-01-09 09:00:01
8 months of pain do not go through what to do?
2018-01-30 05:17:16
At me it is similar, as at you. Try adding garlic to honey. But in general, really does not help anything. This autumn as it began, and the whole winter does not come off. You can not overcool. And I noticed that after the bath she was performing. And now I read that it is impossible to wet, it goes on. Very similar to that. At washing it is necessary to try to wet this place less and not to grind. I, too, now live in fear of waiting for these plaques.
doctor Daria
2018-02-02 08:16:57
Hello, Elena. Pain can last for several years, all organisms are different, so the rate of recovery is strictly individual. especially the period of postherpetic pain after 50 years increases. You should consult a doctor for treatment to stop the pain, it should be comprehensive and include painkillers, anti-inflammatory and sedative drugs.
Nadezhda Vlasova
2018-02-13 09:19:38
6 years ago my mother fell ill, for 2 months she was in the hospital. And all these years, infernal pains (from the waist to the navel on the left side.) Who should I contact, to a dermatologist, or to a neurologist?

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