My skin feels like is raw, tender, when clothes or bed sheets touch it, it is very irritating. This is the second time I have had it, my Dr has no idea. Any ideas on what it is? What will make it feel better? I just found out I have HCV I have not started treatment yet, the meds I needs for a genotype1 have not been approved yet, they are talking late 2011. If anyone has experienced this please let me know.
More clues: A burning sensation and sensitivity to touch often precede the shingles rash by days or weeks.
Acute Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
Herpes Zoster (commonly called "Shingles") results from reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chicken pox in children. Herpes Zoster begins as a severely painful rash in adults when the latent virus that hibernates in spinal or cranial sensory nerve ganglia reactivates. The shingles begin as a burning sensation that follows the path of one or more spinal nerves under the skin. The rash evolves into reddened, fluid-filled blisters, and the patient may experience flu-like symptoms and anxiety. The blisters eventually become cloudy, sometimes bleed, and then crust over within 7-10 days. Once healed, scarring and changes in skin color may remain. While shingles can erupt on almost any part of the body, the most common areas are the torso and the face.
Shingles pain may start several days before the rash appears, often preceded by a prodrome of burning pain, itching or sensitivity of the affected area. For most patients, the pain of Shingles gradually disappears over several weeks or months. Most patients will have no pain or just a small amount of pain one year after the eruption of the rash.
While medications do not cure Zoster infections, they have been found to help shorten the duration and discomfort of the outbreak.
Post Herpetic Neuralgia
If the pain from Shingles does not go away, it is called Post Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN). Overall, only a small number of people with a Shingles outbreak develop PHN. However, people over the age of 50 have a much higher incidence of persistent pain. Sympathetic nerve blocks should be considered part of early treatment to help prevent PHN. Antiviral medications have been found to help reduce or prevent the occurrence of Post Herpetic Neuralgia pain.
Neuropathic Pain Syndromes
Some individuals may suffer from prolonged pain that persists for months or years after an injury, or they may experience pain without any obvious injury at all. This pain condition is usually neuropathic in nature. Neuropathic pain results from a nervous system malfunction set off by nerve damage that may be caused from diseases such as diabetes, trauma or medications- especially chemotherapy and HIV drugs. Rather than the nervous system functioning properly to signal the presence of tissue injury, with Neuropathic Pain the nerves themselves are malfunctioning and become the cause of the pain.
Neuropathic Pain can lead to serious disability. Some patients experience a burning that makes wearing clothes and walking unbearable. This syndrome responds poorly to standard pain treatment and may get worse instead of better over time (especially without appropriate treatment).
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