Prophylactic Treatment For Herpes Zoster

Herpes zoster causes painful rashes.

A prophylactic treatment is often known as a preventive treatment. Herpes zoster is more commonly known as shingles. There are many preventive treatments that can be performed to avoid contracting herpes zoster, but once the condition has been caught it can recur regardless of treatment.

Shingles

Shingles is a skin rash that will blister and become painful. It is contracted at the same time as chickenpox and lies dormant in nerve endings across the body. Years later the virus becomes active again, causing a tingling or burning sensation in the affected area that eventually breaks out in a rash.

Complications

It is important to avoid contracting herpes zoster, as the condition can cause neuralgia once the rash has gone away. This means the affected nerves are damaged and remain painful for a long period after the actual shingles. In rare cases, herpes zoster can lead to blindness, deafness and bacterial skin infections. Prophylactic treatment can help avoid complications.

Avoidance

Although not a treatment as such, the most effective way to avoid herpes zoster is to avoid people suffering from the condition. Shingles is contagious only when the rashes are present, and especially when they have broken. By avoiding contact with people with chickenpox and shingles while they are contagious, you can ensure that you do not contract the condition.

Vaccination

If it is impossible to avoid coming into contact with people suffering from shingles and chickenpox, you might decide to be vaccinated against shingles. The vaccination is called the varicella vaccine. Booster vaccines can be given at any age under 55.

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Considerations

The varicella vaccine does not guarantee that you will not contract herpes zoster, but it does greatly reduce the chance of contracting the virus. You should contact your doctor immediately if you exhibit any of the symptoms of shingles.