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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Shingles - The Stages of Shingles

I. Shingles also known as herpes zoster or zona is defined as a viral disease with condition of a painful, blistering skin rash on one side of the body of  that can continue to be painful even after the rash have long disappeared(1), as a result of varicella-zoster viral causes of a nerve and skin inflammation.
Stages of Shingles
Shingles can be classified in 5 stages
1. The First Shingles Stage: Chickenpox
People who has developed Chickenpox have an increased risk of  shingles later in their life, as the virus can live dormant in the nervous system and is never fully cleared from the body. Dr. Welsby PD. at the Infectious Diseases Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK. indicated that Chickenpox in the United Kingdom, where vaccination is not undertaken, has had a stable epidemiology for decades and is a routine childhood illness. In the UK vaccination is not done because introduction of a routine childhood vaccination might drive up the age at which those who are non-immune get the illness (chickenpox tends to be more severe the older you are), and the incidence of shingles may increase(7).

2. The Second Shingles Stage: Varicella-zoster viral Reactivation
Under certain circumstance, most of the time under weakened immune system as we age or other health conditions or as a result of other medication, the varicella virus can reactivate, triggering the development of shingles.

3. The Third Shingles Stage: Rash
This is the painful stage of shingle as in the earliest stages, patches of bumpy red blisters erupt on your skin and continue for 7 to 10 days.

4. The Fourth Shingles Stage: Crusting
After 7 to 10 days, the blisters begin to fall off that can lead to irregular skin pigmentation of which can be temporary  but in severe cases it can be permanent.

5. The Fifth Shingles Stage: Postherpetic Neuralgia
Postherpetic neuralgia is the pain that lasts for more than a month after infection of shingles, but in some cases it can be last for months or years. The incidence of shingles increases with age and immunosuppression. Guidelines for managing shingles are now available and implementation, with the emphasis on early treatment, may reduce the severity of a shingles attack and reduce the incidence of complications.
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Sources
(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16936604
(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16679476