They have a very strange name, but for those who have ever suffered from them, shingles are no laughing matter. They're painful, difficult to treat, and unfortunately they seem to keep coming back for many patients. But what exactly causes shingles and how can you treat this condition, and keep it from coming back again?
Shingles actually refers to a strain of the herpes virus, however, they are not transmitted sexually. In adults they are usually caused by a dormant strain of the chickenpox; if you ever had the chickenpox when you were a child, even when the rash cleared up the virus that caused it stayed dormant in your system. Typically the virus reappears in the form of shingles when something compromises your immune system, such as stress, disease, or just plain aging. Usually those that are over 50 or that have any type of autoimmune disease are more prone to these outbreaks than anyone else.
Realizing what causes shingles doesn't actually help you to avoid ever getting them; there's not much you can do about aging or about getting a disease that compromises your immune system. But stress is also a common cause, so knowing that should help you understand the need to keep yourself calm and to learn ways of dealing with your stress before an outbreak of shingles. If you have something coming up that you know will cause excessive stress such as a deadline or presentation or something else, be sure you take extra precautions to keep yourself from getting overly stressed. Exercise, get plenty of sleep, and eat right. Talk things through with a family member or friend; sometimes just having a conversation about your stressful situation can put it in better perspective. These may not seem like much of a cure for shingles but since stress can cause it, if you can control your stress you can cut down on your chances of having an outbreak.
Since shingles manifests itself as a painful skin rash, using topical ointments can help with the immediate pain. Anti-viral medications and steroids can also help heal the outbreak as well.
Persons that are at special risk for the disease can sometimes get a vaccine that will help keep the virus at bay, and those with autoimmune disorders should be very careful about taking care of their condition carefully. And anyone that gets recurring cases of shingles should speak to a doctor as this may signal a disease or condition that should be treated properly.
Some common vitamins and over the counter products can help alleviate the symptoms of shingles such as the following:
Zinc is needed for healing and maintaining healthy tissues. Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and are the vital components of skin, hair, muscle tissue, the body's organs, blood cells, various enzymes and hormones. Zinc also has a profound influence on the body's ability to resist disease.
Tea Tree Oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties and helps sooth and treat problem skin. It is used to help tighten pores and firm skin for a more youthful, healthy appearance.
Salicylic Acid also helps breakdown blackheads and whiteheads. It also helps cut down the shedding of cells lining the hair follicles clogging the pores of the skin. Salicylic acid is used as a mild abrasive to chemically exfoliate the skin to encourage the peeling of the top layer and to prevent a build-up of dead skin cells which combine with the oil to block pores.
Olbas is used to increase the circulation in skin by opening up the skin pores. Olbas oil has been used for its healing properties in cultures around the world for centuries.
Isotretinoin, a Vitamin A derivative, is an oral drug that is usually taken once or twice a day with food for 4 to 6 months. Isotretinoin has been shown to be very effective in treating severe acne and can either improve or clear over 80% of patients studied. Isotretinoin has a much longer effect than anti-bacterial treatments and will often cure acne for good. It reduces the size of oil glands and much less oil is produced and as a result the growth of propion bacteria is reduced.
Always consult your doctor before using this information.
This Article is nutritional in nature and not to be construed as medical advice.
David Cowley has created numerous articles about the relationship between diseases and vitamins. Visit Health Related Articles
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