Herpes zoster symptoms can make for an excruciating few weeks. Thankfully, a few weeks is all it will normally take for the virus to run its course–though they might just feel like the longest weeks of your life. Once it's over, though, you can look forward to many zoster-free years ahead–the virus, like its cousin chicken pox, tends to only occur once.
Chicken pox can be a useful point of entry for understanding herpes zoster symptoms. Chicken pox affect a large portion of the body's skin; zoster, a much smaller percentage. Chicken pox can be itchy and painful; zoster can be itchy and incredibly painful.
Herpes Zoster Symptoms and Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no wonder drug that will get rid of zoster entirely–other than good ol' time, that is. But there are methods for lessening the pain and irritation. Cool or cold compresses can be vital to the easing of discomfort.
There are also oral medications and supplements that can be used to take away some of the sting of herpes zoster. One of these, called benfotiamine, can be especially useful in severe cases when the pain of zoster lingers after the virus has run its course. These cases are most often found in the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.