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.