SHINGLES (HERPES ZOSTER).—A disease of the skin, accompanied with symptoms of nervous disorders. Following an attack of neuralgic-like pains, smaller or larger blisters, varying in size from that of a millet-seed to that of a bean, appear on one side of the body, usually extending half way around the body like a girdle. The area of skin upon which this eruption develops, is red and inflamed. The eruption is distinguished by the group ing of the blisters in clusters, resembling a bunch of grapes, the individual parts looking like small sago grains. Shingles frequently appears on the chest on on the abdomen, extending from the spinal column to the anterior middle line. The eruption may appear also on the hack of the head, on the neck, on the arm, or on the forehead. In the last-named case it often involves the eye, leading to the formation of scars on the cornea, or even to blindness. The eruption is usually preceded by more or less severe nerve-pains, and these may persist also long after the disappearance of the cutaneous symptoms. There is almost invariably the precedent history of
exposure to cold or the symptoms of a malarial infection. After a few days the blisters dry, forming crusts, which fall off and frequently leave scars. The duration of the disease is from one to three weeks.
The treatment of shingles consists in dusting the affected parts with rice powder, or in applying compresses of cold water or of lead-water. Remedies for the wounds and ulcers which occasionally arise from the -blisters, and for the nerve-pains which are often difficult to combat, will be prescribed by the physician, who should be consulted as early as possible.
It is important to have the gastro-intestinal tract in a healthy condition, as most of the attacks follow severe dietary indiscretions. Herpes is to be interpreted as a nerve-lesion, reflecting a disturbance in sonic internal organ of the body.