Herpes Zoster aka "St. Anthony's fire" is activated by stress. Here are the causes and symptoms of this painful skin rash.
Stress often acts as a powerful activator of the most varied pathologies. But is it possible that it always depends on stress?
Not everything, certainly, but extreme physical and psychological exhaustion is a factor that directly affects the immune system, lowering its defenses and increasing the risk of contracting various diseases.
Herpes Zoster aka St. Anthony's Fire, is one of those infectious diseases that are rather common, which can manifest itself in our body if we continue to experience constant high levels of stress.
Herpes Zoster (St. Anthony's Fire) is caused by the same varicella virus aka chickenpox, which is usually contracted at an early age. However, once healed of chickenpox, the virus remains silent and inactive for years in our bodies until for some reason it is reactivated in the form of Herpes Zoster.
This viral infection, Herpes Zoster, manifests itself with the appearance of very painful and bothersome skin rashes, which can appear in any part of the body. While chickenpox is typical of children, Herpes Zoster mainly affects adults, especially the elderly.
Nevertheless, children are not immune to this infectious disease and it is always a good idea to check for blisters and redness. Potentially anyone can contract this virus, but people with a very low immune system are definitely more at risk.
If you feel a burning sensation after the sudden appearance of a skin rash, do not hesitate to contact your primary care provider or dermatologist.
Early recognition of the Herpes Zoster virus is essential because it allows for the immediate implementation of the proper therapy within 24-72 hours of the appearance of the first blisters. Thus, avoiding the annoying complications that occur in the most acute phases of this disease.
It is even more important to act promptly if the blisters are concentrated near the eyes! In fact, Herpes Zoster can cause retinal detachment and lead to blindness.
Generally, the small blisters remain on the body for a period ranging from 3 to 5 weeks. However, the pain and burning sensation can last much longer. Please do not forget that this is a virus and therefore, Herpes Zoster is highly contagious.
The symptoms that are felt before the contracted virus manifests itself as a rash are:
- extreme tiredness
- sensitivity to light
- pain, itching, and tingling for two or three days before the rash develops
- blisters filled with fluid
Do not underestimate the symptoms and the appearance of this annoying disease, because the consequences of a bad, or late diagnosis could be quite dangerous.
Try not to stress yourself too much and get enough hours of sleep every night; smoking and drinking alcohol can worsen Herpes Zoster symptoms, so try to avoid these activities.
Always contact your primary care provider (PCP), or, in this specific case, a good dermatologist who will only need a quick look to see if it is Herpes Zoster or not.