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SHINGLES (Herpes Zoster). Definition

Categories: Diseases of The Skin

This is an acute inflammatory
disease of the skin, characterized by groups of vesicles upon the inflamed

base, distributed along the course of one or more cutaneous (skin) nerves.

Symptoms. The eruption is preceded by a great deal of neuralgic pain and

is almost always one-sided. They first appear as red patches and upon

these patches vesicles soon develop (skin elevations with liquid in them);

these are separat
, size of a pin-head to a coffee bean, swollen with a

clear fluid, and clustered in groups of two to a dozen. They may dry up in

this stage, or they may fill with pus or run together, forming larger

patches; new crops may appear, while the others fade. The vesicles rarely

rupture of themselves, but dry into brownish crusts, which drop off

leaving a temporary colored skin. It follows the course of a nerve. The

most common seat of this disease is over one or more intercostal (between

the rib) nerves, extending from the backbone to the breastbone. It also

occurs along the side of the face and temple.

Causes. It is a self-limited disease, runs its course in a few weeks, of

nervous origin and may be produced by exposure to weather changes, blows

and certain poisons.

MOTHERS' REMEDIES. Shingles, Herb Remedy for. 1. "Make a solution of

yerba rheuma, one ounce to a pint of boiling water, and apply freely to

the part several times a day." The yerba rheuma has an astringent action

and contracts the tissues, relieving the inflammation of the skin. It also

relieves the itching.

2. Shingles, Mercury Ointment for. "Apply night and morning an ointment

from the oleate of mercury." This preparation will be found effective, but

care should be taken not to use too much of it, as oleate of mercury is

very powerful. It relieves the burning and itching.

PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT for Shingles. Protect the vesicles from rupture or

irritation and relieve the pain. Paint the surface with a solution of gun

cotton (collodion). Tonics to keep up the strength.