Re: Is Shingles a Nerve Infection?
Hi there, I am sorry for your trouble.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. It is called the Varicella zoster virus. It is in the herpes family but is not caused by the same virus that causes genital herpes or herpes mouth sores.
If you have immune deficiency or are under stress this can sometimes reactivate the virus and cause shingles. Most of the time a cause is not found.
You may experience pain (burning and sensitive skin) before you see any blisters. Occasionally, pain is present but the blisters never appear. Duration of the outbreak is three to four weeks from start to finish.
Shingles is contagious. It can be spread to children and adults that have never had chickenpox. They will develop chickenpox instead of shingles. Once the blisters have crusted over, the virus can not be spread and is not contagious.
Your physician could have put you on an antiviral drug to reduce the severity and duration of the rash. This type drug must be started within 72 hours of the appearance of the rash. Narcotics and NSAIDs(non-steroidal anti-iflammatory drugs) can be used for pain.
Keep the affected area clean and bath with soap and water. Use cool compresses and anti-itching lotions such as calamine lotion. Burow's or Domeboro solution can be used to help dry up the blisters and oozing. You can find this at the pharmacy.
If the pain really upsets I would call the physician and ask for some medications to provide some relief until this thing passes.
Hope you feel better soon!! Sincerely, searchin