Home Health [의학칼럼] Beware of heat and shingles

[의학칼럼] Beware of heat and shingles

by news dir
Director Yoo Yeon-gyu, Wooridul Hospital.

As the heat wave continues every day, the number of patients visiting hospitals with shingles is increasing. This is because, as a tropical child in the summer, it is easy to lose immunity and stamina due to poor sleep and loss of appetite or lifestyle.

Herpes zoster is a disease that occurs when the chickenpox-like varicella-zoster virus, a disease that has been experienced or heard about at least once, exists in the body in a latent state and is reactivated due to reduced immunity and lack of exercise.

As a symptom, rashes or blisters often appear on one part of the skin in the form of stripes along the nerve band, but in rare cases, they can occur all over the body. In addition, muscle aches such as body aches, fatigue, fever, and headaches may accompany it.

Regardless of the season, it is known to be a disease that mainly occurs in people over the age of 50 or those who have weakened immune function, such as patients receiving chemotherapy. However, recently, it occurs a lot in people in their 20s and 30s due to reduced immunity and lack of exercise due to stress.

A skin rash may be mistaken for a skin disease, but it is a disease that leads to nerve damage and inflammation, so you must receive nerve treatment.

If you have shingles, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Antiviral treatment should be started within 3 days of the occurrence of blisters, and nerve injections should be administered to actively relieve nerve inflammation at the initial stage of infection.

If properly treated in the beginning, most cases are cured within 2 weeks, but if the timing of treatment is missed, it can lead to chronic postherpetic neuralgia, causing severe pain that can last for months or years. In addition, in the case of invasion of the facial region, visual impairment and facial nerve palsy may remain, so early treatment is very important.

Avoid overwork, stress, and maintain immunity through regular living and sufficient sleep. People over 50 (especially postmenopausal women), high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. can be prevented with a vaccine. The shingles vaccine is effective in preventing more than 70% of those in their 50s and 50% of those in their 60s with a single dose, and can reduce the chance of developing secondary neuralgia after herpes zoster even if they get shingles.

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