Herpes Zoster / Shingles : Homeopathic Treatment, Causes, Symptoms

Homoeopathic Management Of Shingles (HERPES ZOSTER)

Author: Dr.Vinuta.Yathiswarappa.G
PG Scholar, Department of Organon of Medicine
Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College
Deralakatte, Mangaluru-575018.


ABSTRACT: Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso. Despite these homeopathic medicines play a very effective role in case of Shingles. Homeopathic medicines play a major role not only treatment but also to reduce post complication.
KEYWORD: shingles, prevention, homoeopathy


INTRODUCTION
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After the attack of chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.


EPIDEMIOLOGY
OCCURENCE
Herpes zoster occurs worldwide. In countries in temperate climates, it is primarily a childhood disease, with most children infected by age 10 years. In tropical areas, children acquire varicella at older ages and therefore a higher proportion of young adults remain susceptible, resulting in a higher proportion of cases occurring among adults.


RESERVOIR
Varicella zoster, the virus that causes both varicella (chickenpox) and zoster (shingles), is an exclusively human pathogen. No animal or insect source or vector is known to exist.


TRANSMISSION
Varicella zoster transmission occurs from person-to-person by direct contact with vesicular fluid or by inhalation of aerosols from vesicular fluid of skin lesions of acute varicella or zoster.
Transmission may also occur from infected respiratory tract secretions of patients with varicella that might also be aerosolized. Skin lesions are considered the major source of transmissible Varicella zoster.


TEMPORAL PATTERN
In temperate areas, varicella has a distinct seasonal fluctuation, with the highest incidence occurring in winter and early spring. Less seasonality is also reported in tropical areas.


COMMUNICABILITY
The period of communicability extends from 1 to 2 days before the onset of rash until all lesions have formed crusts. The virus has not been isolated from crusted lesions. Vaccinated persons who contract varicella may develop lesions that do not crust (macules and papules only). Isolation guidance for these persons is to restrict contact with others until no new lesions appear within a 24-hour period.
Varicella is highly contagious. Secondary attack rates among susceptible household contacts of persons with varicella are between 61% and 100%. Zoster is much less infectious as varicella, i.e., about 1/5 as infectious as varicella.


RISK FACTORS

  • A weakened immune system might wake up the virus. After you’ve had chickenpox, you’re more likely to get shingles if you:
  • Age- 50 or older
  • Stress
  • Cancer, HIV, or another disease that lowers your body’s defence
    Serious physical injury
  • Long-term use of steroids or other medicines that can weaken your immune system
    But many people who get shingles rarely fit into any of these categories

CLINICAL FEATURES

  • The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body.
  • These signs and symptoms may include:
  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
  • Itching
  • Some people also experience:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fatigue
  • Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. For some, it can be intense. Depending on the location of the pain, it can sometimes be mistaken for a symptom of problems affecting the heart, lungs or kidneys. Some people experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash.
  • Most commonly, the shingles rash develops as a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or right side of your torso. Sometimes the shingles rash occurs around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

  • Shingles can be confused with:
  • Herpes simplex
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Impetigo
  • skin reactions caused by contact dermatitis ,candidiasis
  • Insect bites.
  • Autoimmune blistering disease
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Drug eruptions

COMPLICATIONS
Shingles can have complications that last long after the rash is gone, including:
Brain inflammation or facial paralysis if it affects certain nerves
Eye problems and vision loss if your rash was in or around your eye
Pain that lasts long after the outbreak, called post herpetic neuralgia. It affects up to 1 in 5 people who get shingles.


CONCLUSION
The quality of life (QOL)of a patient with herpes zoster can be substantially diminished by both the acute pain associated with the condition. Both pain syndromes can limit a person’s productivity and his or her ability to conduct the activities of daily living.
Patients who experience only acute infection may regain their usual quality of life once the flare-up subsides. During the peak of a zoster flare, however, the effect on quality of life is similar to that of serious chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and depression. Patients who experience the more persistent and longer-lasting pain often must cope with ongoing physical, psychological, functional, and social problems.
Elderly patients with herpes zoster are at risk of becoming physically impaired by fatigue, anorexia, and insomnia.
They may find it difficult to bathe, dress, perform household chores, cook, travel, and shop. Therefore, prompt treatment is essential in these individuals.


MANAGEMENT
General Management

  • Taking a cool bath or using cool wet compresses on your blisters may help relieve the itching and pain
  • Keep the affected area clean, dry, and exposed to air as much as possible.
  • The itching can be maddening at times, but try not to scratch or burst the blisters.
  • Try to reduce the amount of stress in your life

Homoeopathy in Shingles

  1. Rhus tox
    Rhus tox is very useful in Herpes Zoster with intense itching in the affected skin area. There is burning and Neuralgic pains after herpes zoster, especially on the right side.
    Herpetic eruptions alternating with dysentery and pains in chest, itching with burning and smarting, feeling as if pierced with hot needles.
    Increase in eruptions on rubbing, a feeling of burning pain on blistering skin rash and itching that gets better with the application of hot water are the main symptoms. It is also indicated for shingles alternating with asthma.
  2. Ranunculus bulbosus
    It is the principle medicine for treating Herpes zoster. It is indicated for herpetic eruptions with itching where the eruptions are vesicular and pustular.
    It is highly recommended for shingles with blue blisters that are filled with serum. There is an intense burning and itching that gets worse with contact.
  3. Mezerium
    It is indicated for Herpes Zoster with burning pains.
    Eruptions ooze out with a discharge of acrid, gluey moisture from thick crusts.
    Scab formation over herpetic blisters with pus beneath it, itching over affected skin rash that gets worse by warmth, a sensation of insects crawling are some symptoms.
    The eruptions are crusty with white scabs and can bleed when touched. The skin becomes cold in those places where there is intense itching.
  4. Croton Tigilinum
    Eruptions have stinging and smarting pains, vesicles, and pustules run into one another and speedily develop a sero purulent exudation.
    There is the formation of large brown scabs with peeling of skin and falling off of the pustules.
    Blisters are present in clusters, confluent and oozing, especially on the face with itching that is followed by painful burning.
  5. Dulcamara
    Herpes Zoster occurs after being exposed to cold, especially in wet weather. Herpetic eruptions get worse at night and better by moving about and from external warmth.
    The eruptions are thick, crusty, moist and get worse before menses (in women).
    The crusts over blisters are thick and brownish –yellow which starts bleeding when scratched.
  6. Dolichos
    It is indicated in those cases where herpetic eruptions are on the armpit, spreading in rings forward to the sternum and backward to the spine.
    Pains are burning and smarting over the affected area.
    This medicine is also indicated for shingles without eruptions, and there is intense itching which gets worse by scratching.
  7. Natrum Muriaticum
    Treatment for shingles that are worse on flexures (bent or curved part).
    Vesicles with watery contents burst and leave thin scurf (flakes on the skin).
    Blisters form on burning spots on the skin. Herpetic eruptions become crusty and dry in bends of the limbs and margins of the scalp.
  8. Kalmia: (Post herpetic Neuralgia)
    It is highly indicated remedy for neuralgic pains of the face or of those nerves that supply the part where there were herpetic eruptions.
    The neuralgic pains are violent, tearing and shooting type, and come and go suddenly. The pains are worse in the day, coming and going with the sun or else get worse at night by lying down.
  9. Zincum Mettalicum
    It is also indicated for suppurating herpetic eruptions.
    Zincum met is indicated for Herpes zoster when the blisters are dry, over the whole body or on the back and hands.
    Neuralgic pains are burning and jerking in nature, and the shingles get worse in the evening and from the slightest touch.

REFERENCES
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 18TH international edition, McGraw-Hill, Anthony S. Fauci, 2011
IADVL Textbook of dermatology Volume 1, 3rd edition, R.G. Valia Ameet R. Valia, 2008
Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine, 20th Edition, Nicholas A. Boon Nicki R.Colledge, 2006
Boericke W. Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory. 9th Edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd; 2009.
Allen H. Keynotes and characteristics with comparisons of some of the leading remedies of the materia medica. 8th edition. B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
Clarke, J.H. A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers; 1999

Dr Vinuta Yathiswarappa G
Author: Dr Vinuta Yathiswarappa G

Completed UG at B.D.Jatti Homoeopathicedical college and Hospital,Dharwad and persuing PG at father muller homoeopathic medical college, mangalore

Leave a Comment