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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes shingles?

What causes shingles (other than the compromised immune system)...poor nutrition, stress, lack of sleep? My 76 year old man friend just broke out and he will see a doctor tomorrow, but I would like to know the why and how we treat it. Am I liable to become infected if we are intimate? What is the incubation period? What is the standard treatment, please? Is the condition likely to return again? Thank you. Gina email: YYYY@YYYY
Wed, 31 Jan 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Thank you for asking at health caremagic.

Shingles generally happens due to a virus that sleeps in the neurological system on a person that has had chicken pox before. This is very common especially in cases you mention but elderly age is a reason also.
It is generally self limiting but very uncomfortable meanwhile. There is oral acyclovir he might use to speed up healing, it should be started as soon as possible and there are drugs for pain like ibuprofen and paracetamol. Local cold compresses can help with pain also.

As for you, you are not in risk if you are not in contact with the fluids that come from the vesicles. Very little chance it will spread to you by contact, it generally comes from the inside of the patient (the sleeping virus) but to be safe please try to avoid contact with the area that has the vesicles.

I hope this is helpful and answers to your question but please feel free to write us in case more clarification is needed on this.

Kind regards,

Antoneta Zotaj, MD
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