A case of recurrent shingles arises more than once. It is important to note that shingles arises once before the immune system forces the varicella-zoster virus into an inactive state.
What are the risk factors?
Individuals who have immune disorders such as AIDS or diseases that affect the immune system such as cancer and those who are using immune system suppressing drugs are likely to end up with recurrent shingles.
What are the causes of recurrent shingles?
It is important to note that shingles stem from the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus which is also responsible for chicken pox within the roots of the sensory nerves.
Recurrent shingles usually stems from deficits in cell-mediated immunity which is the same issue among those with AIDS and oftentimes, inability to produce enough antibodies.
How long does it last and its severity?
Healthy individuals usually end up with shingles over a span of 3-5 days. The lesions generally scab over by 7-10 days. Individuals with recurrent shingles often continue to develop new lesions for more than a week. It is important to note that scabbing might not arise until 3 weeks and full healing might never occur.
It is important to note that shingles generally causes a painful, blistering rash limited to one side of the body, usually within the site of a single nerve root. Individuals who have recurrent shingles might end up with more blisters, oftentimes distributed over several nerve roots. Take note that these lesions strikingly resemble a severe burn and can even lead to a secondary infection.
Management of recurrent shingles
Recurrent shingles is treated using antiviral medications such as famciclovir, acyclovir and valacyclovir. The individual might be required to take the antiviral drugs daily to avoid any recurrence.
In case outbreaks occur, larger doses or taken several times in a day are required to drive the virus into a state or remission.