Oral and genital herpes usually mean herpes in general; herpes zoster, on the other hand, commonly refers to shingles.
Anatomy of Skin
A sexually transmitted infection can lead to oral or genital herpes or herpes simplex. When a latent infection of chicken pox is reactivated the result will be a case of shingles. While herpes outbreaks are confined to the genitals or oral cavities (lips and mouth), shingles often affects the body. The telltale signs of shingles are the appearance of vesicles along swathes of skin that may wrap around the body and originate from the spine.
While the pathogens and mechanisms that breed these maladies are seen differently by Western biomedical researchers, they are seen as almost the same in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM practitioners treat shingles and herpes easily and successfully regardless of what part of the body is infected.
Shingles and Herpes: Symptoms and Causes
A result of a viral infection, shingles is a painful rash that can develop anywhere on the body, although it often occurs unilaterally (on one side of the body) and only manifests in a dermatome (An innervated area of the skin) that starts at the spine. The varicella-zoster virus which is the chickenpox virus is the cause of shingles which means that a person who has never had chickenpox will also never get the shingles. The virus remains dormant in cells just near the spinal cord after a chickenpox infection. Years later during times of great stress and/or when the immune system is weak, the chickenpox virus can get reactivated resulting in shingles. Though never deadly, shingles can be extremely painful. The dermatomes will develop vesicles during an outbreak of shingles. The patient can experience a pain that is electric, searing, and burning. The good news is that after two weeks the vesicles dry up and heal by themselves although they may leave a crusty scar in their wake.
Pain may be felt even after the vesicles dry up and heal. This is called post-zoster pain or post-herpetic neuralgia. Chinese herbs and acupuncture can be used to stop pain and decrease the seriousness of the outbreaks. Post -herpetic neuralgia can be treated with acupuncture as well.
Developing on the genitals or in the mouth, herpes can cause symptoms such as sores (vesicles), itching and pain. A lot of sufferers may not manifest any signs or symptoms at all. Regardless of the visibility or lack of symptoms, herpes is a contagious infection that can be transmitted from mouth-to-genital or skin-to-skin. The virus can be reactivated many instances in a year after the initial infection.
The obvious and common signs of shingles and herpes are pain and itching. Acupuncturists and scientists have revealed that acupuncture is able to relieve itch and stop the pain. Acupuncture works by stimulating the nerves to produce neurotransmitters that will prevent pain and itch signals from being transmitted to the brain. From the viewpoint of TCM, acupuncture is able to harmonize the energetic and organ systems of the body that help in stopping the pain and itch related to shingles and herpes.
Adding Chinese herbs to the treatment results in faster and stronger outcomes; these herbs can be used topically or can come in the form of tea to drink or to be used as stitz bath.