Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Antiviral Medicines Help Ease Shingles Pain

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Antiviral Medicines Help Ease Shingles Pain

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: I've been diagnosed with shingles. What can I take for the pain?

Dear Reader: Shingles, also known as herpes zoster or just zoster, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once you have had chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus remains in your body's nerve tissues. It is inactive, but it can be reactivated later in life. This causes shingles.

When the virus reactivates, it causes a burning or tingling sensation in the affected areas. A few days later, the virus causes a blistery rash. Your affected skin may be so painful and sensitive that you cannot even stand having your clothing touching the area. One patient of mine with shingles on his forearm switched for several weeks to wearing a short-sleeved shirt to the office, something he never had worn to work before. …

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