About Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) involves a primary VZV infection (chickenpox) which is nearly always symptomatic and consists of wide-spread itchy vesicles. During the primary chickenpox infection, VZV establishes a lifelong infection in sensory ganglia. When immunity to VZV declines, VZV reactivates within the nerve cell, traveling down the neuron to the skin, where it erupts in a dermatomal pattern as herpes zoster, also known as shingles. Shingles is an acute dermatomal infection associated with reactivation of VZV and consists of one-sided pain and a vesicular or bullous eruption limited to a dermatome followed by postherpetic neuralgia. Often there is a prodromal stage of 2-3 weeks of neuritic pain, numbmess, or tingling that precedes the eruption. Then the acute vesiculation lasts 3-5 days followed by crust formation for 2-3 weeks. The subsequent postherpetic neuralgia can last months to years.

Treatments: My Approach

My holistic treatment approach to Shingles involves optimizing and improving immune function to prevent shingles eruptions as well as to expedite the recovery of an outbreak and to decrease the intensity and duration of postherpetic neuralgia. I utilize diet, herbs, nutritional supplements, topical formulations, lifestyle modifications, and medications to optimize and improve immune function and address shingles.