What is Shingles?

Some people think shingles is a dangerous health condition, especially for children. Actually, it is not a life-threatening disease. Shingles is a type of skin disease which caused by Varicella Zoster Virus. Actually, this disease is the second stage after a person has chickenpox.

The first sign of this disease is unilateral tingling, itching, or stabbing pain in your skin or on one side of your face and body. In general, shingles attack the people who have a weak immune system such as the elderly and other diseases sufferers such as aids, leukemia, lupus and other diseases.

Shingles Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Shingles Causes

One of the causes is the direct contact physically with the patient. Shingles are not only just transmitted through direct contact but also transmitted through the breathing. Here are some factors can cause this skin disease:

  • The immune system has weakened like the elderly people
  • The number of white blood cells decreases
  • The chickenpox disease is getting worse turning into shingles
  • The innate factor of birth
  • Not getting vaccinated when still a toddler
  • People with HIV or AIDS previously
  • People who affect leukemia


In general, there are several symptoms that can show a person affected by this disease. The following are the common symptoms:

  • When the virus is already active, the patient will feel stabbing pain and be burning in the back and face
  • Blistering skin rash on your skin
  • The skin becomes more sensitive
  • Have a high fever
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Tingling and itching
Shingles Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments


There is no cure for this disease. The treatment can help ease the symptoms until the condition improves. Normally, the physicians prescribe drugs to help treat shingles outbreaks, but oftentimes the medications are followed by adverse effects.

Besides using drugs, natural strategies for applying honey to the affected area have proven to be effective against shingles. Here are the other treatments:


If you develop the shingles rash, there are a number of things you can do to help relieve your symptoms:

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  • Keeping the rash as clean and dry as possible
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • Not using topical (rub-on) antibiotics or adhesive dressings such as plasters
  • Using a non-adherent dressing
  • Using calamine lotion that has a soothing, cooling effect on the skin and can be used to relieve the itching
  • A cool compress to help soothe the skin and keep blisters clean

Antiviral Medication

Antiviral medicines include aciclovir, valaciclovir, and famciclovir. These medicines are most effective when taken within 72 hours of your rash appearing. These medications cannot kill the shingles virus but can help stop it multiplying like:

  • Reduce the severity
  • Reduce how long the shingles last
  • Prevent complications

Painkilling Medication

Painkilling medication is to ease the pain.  The following are some of the main medications used to relieve pain associated with shingles:

  • Paracetamol. The most commonly used painkiller is paracetamol. Make sure the medicine is suitable and taking the correct dose.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is re an alternative type of painkilling medicine that available without a prescription.
  • Opioids. This is a stronger type of painkiller sometimes prescribed alongside paracetamol.
  • Antidepressants. These medications are commonly used to treat depression, but they have also proven to be useful in relieving nerve pain, such as the pain associated with shingles.
  • Anticonvulsants. Gabapentin and pregabalin are the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsants for shingles pain.