Herpes Zoster

Herpes Zoster

We all sounded herpes like that lesion that goes on the lip when we are stressed. That type of herpes is caused by a virus and shingles is produced by a virus from the same family.

The virus that infects the lip is called herpes simplex type I (the most common). Of the elderly, almost all of us have the virus living in our body. The first time we get infected, the virus enters the lip, goes up the nerve (which is on the skin of the lips) and lies dormant in the body of the neurons of that nerve. He stays there asleep because our immune system will not let him out. When we have a lot of stress, we sleep little or drink a lot of alcohol, our immune system is weaker and the virus leaves its hiding place and goes down the nerve root and infects the lip again.

Herpes ZosterI have told you how this virus works because it has some similarities with its familiar, herpes zoster. The herpes zoster virus is the same virus varicella. Chickenpox is one of those diseases of children that fill with grains and become ill. Today with vaccinations are seen less. Well, this virus depends on where we infect it does the same. It goes up the nerve to sleep in the nerve ganglia where the bodies of the sensitive nerve cells are. In adulthood, this virus can descend and give an infection in the skin throughout the territory that carries the nerve in question.

The reason for talking about this virus here is because the area where the herpes zoster lesions most frequently occur is in the dorsal and lumbar dermatomes. Dermatoma is called the territory of skin that corresponds to that particular nerve. The infection produces intense pain throughout the dermatome which is due to inflammation of the nerve. In addition to pain, characteristic granites appear to help uncover the cause.

The onset of symptoms is usually a burning pain, as if they nailed something, and the skin is hypersensitive with pain when we touch the affected areas. It is the typical pain that we define as neuropathic physicians. The granites in the skin leave time later and until this moment the diagnosis is not always clear. Depending on where we have the pain can be confused with kidney or digestive problems in addition to the back.

Shingles is very painful but when it is in the back it is normal for everything to go well. The most serious problems occur when the infection occurs in the eye (from the trigeminal nerve) that can cause lesions in the cornea. In spite of being rare, sometimes the infection can be complicated. The most common complication is pain that persists in the nerve even though the infection has been removed. It is still rare. Even rarer, the infection can spread to the marrow causing meningitis and even encephalitis. Motor nerves are sometimes affected. More severe complications are seen in patients who have compromised their immunity due to diseases such as HIV or treatment with immunosuppressant’s for a transplant.

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