Herpes Zoster

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Chicken pox infection can later return in the form of shingles.


ONE OF Bollywood's favourite plot contrivances, Bees Saal Baad is used in a variety of situations. Whether it is the rejuvenated hero, reunion of sisters separated at birth or the next generation of warring families falling in love, the very invocation of bees saal serves well for the viewer's imagination to move across time and join the storyline. In medical parlance too there is one infection, which can come calling even after two decades but in another form. Varicella zoster is a virus that causes chicken pox usually during the first 15 years of life and the body develops life long immunity against it.

Dormant virus

At the end of the infection the viral organisms are destroyed but some survive, travel up the nerve fibres along the spine, and lie dormant in the nerve cells for many years. Later in life when the body's natural resistance is down due to several factors like use of steroids, chemotherapy, infections and stress the virus is revitalized to cause Herpes zoster or shingles.

Common symptoms

Shingles as it is commonly called appears as a red sore painful rash leading to eruptions in the form of blisters filled with transparent fluid. This typically occurs along the course of a nerve fibre and the blisters are found along the shoulder blade towards the rib cage and the upper or lower limbs. Sometimes they are also found on the face, temples and eyes, but always on one side of the body. Prior to the appearance of the rashthere is tingling, itching and stabbing pain. The pain could be so severe that it could be mistaken for kidney stones, gallstones or even appendicitis when abdomen is affected.

Provoke chicken pox


The rash tends to disappear in three to four weeks but sometime the pain could persist for even six months to two years and that is the worrisome factor. It is called as post herpetic neuralgia. Shingles does not spread from one personto another. Only those who had chicken pox earlier develop this. But a person with shingles can transmit chicken pox to others. Homeopathic medicine has excellent remedies to see through the cause of the disease and ease the patients who have neuralgic pain. Bryonia gets rid of the pain if it is along the right side of the chest and rib cage and Ranunculus Bulb if it is on the left side. Mygale & Curare could be used if the eruptions are on the face. Rhus Tox if it is along the course of the lower limbs.


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