‘’Old age Affliction!’’ Is what we used to call it in the past. 1 out of 5 individuals over the age of 50 will presumably get shingles in the course of their lifetime. In most instances, individuals suffer from a single episode of this illness, but in certain cases, this virus can manifest itself on more than one occasion. More alarming are the increasing occurrences of this illness among young adults and even children!
Shingles is of viral origin
VZV (varicella-zoster virus) triggers Chicken Pox (varicella) initially, in children the first time. In its aftermath, most of the viral cells die off, however, some may lay dormant in our sensory lymph nodes for many years. When the immune system is weakened, ZVZ can be triggered and cause an extremely painful skin rash condition called « Shingles ».
Shingles initially manifests itself by a burning sensation followed by reddening of the skin 2 to 3 days later. Furthermore, liquid-filled blisters begin to appear, causing more discomfort and itchiness. These blisters dry out and disappear in approximately 3 weeks.
If you are suffering from bouts of Shingles, it is essential to get a lot of rest, to regularly clean your blisters and wear very light clothing. The liquid in the blisters is contagious, so caution should be exercised. Risk of spreading and irritation is reduced as the blisters dry. Shingles most commonly affect the thorax region; however, they can also appear on the back, buttock, neck regions, the face and the scalp.
In some individual cases, pain triggered by Shingles can persist for months and even years: iIt is known as « Postherpetic Neuralgia »: With either a continuous burning sensation or a series of electrical charges throughout the body
- Proteolytic enzymes can help relieve pain, inflammation and stimulate the immune system to overcome the virus. They are most effective when consumed in between meals.
- Apply several drops of peppermint and real lavender essential oils. Peppermint oil has analgesic properties and instantly provides a cooling sensation while Lavender possesses soothing and healing properties, it helps to relieve pain. Ravintsara is also recommended and known for its antiviral properties.
- These oils can be applied directly on the skin or lightly diluted with a touch of vegetable oil or St-John’s Wort oil in case of irritation.
- St-John’s Wort oil can be applied directly on the blisters as often as needed until they dry.
- Maintaining a strong immune system is also one of the best means of preventing a recurrence of Shingles symptoms. An antiviral herbal formula such as (Astragalus, Echinacea, etc…) or a customized protocol to meet your special needs is highly recommended.
- Do not hesitate to seek your naturopath’s advice