Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox—affects the nerve endings in the skin.
Usually occurs on the skin of the abdomen under the ribs leading toward the navel, but can appear anywhere on the body. 3 or 4 days of intense pain in affected area often precede an attack. Then painful, itchy blisters develop, lasting for 7-14 days. The blisters form crusty scabs and fall off.
The virus may lie dormant in the spinal cord and nerve ganglia for years until triggered. Risk of Shingles increases with the use of anti-cancer drugs, Hodgkin’s disease, and other cancers, stress, and immune system deficiency. If Shingles develop near the eyes, the cornea can be affected and blindness may result.
After an attack of Shingles, the pain may continue (even after blisters gone). The pain can last for months or years! The post-herpetic syndrome can be more painful than original infection.
"Do not take acetaminophen—it might prolong illness."
Cannabinoids are compounds in marijuana (cannabis), which may have properties that protect nerve cells. They are being studied for a number of nerve-disorders, including chronic nerve-related pain. In one study, it was effective in reducing pain and had no major side effects.
Acting through cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, endocannabinoids (as well as THC) are thought to play a role in variety of biological functions, including pain and anxiety control, and inflammation This is where medical marijuana comes into play. There has been plenty of research demonstrating marijuana’s ability to reduce pain associated with damage to the nerves (neuropathic pain). Patients with HIV and Diabetic neuropathy have been studied at the UCSD Medical Cannabis Research Center. All showed dramatic improvement in patient’s symptoms.
With the addition of cannabis other pain medications that patients require should decrease
Shingles can lead to a debilitating complication called post herpetic neuralgia.
This condition causes the skin to remain painful and sensitive to touch for months or even years after the rash clears up. Medical marijuana is the perfect treatment for neuropathic pain.
Cannabis has also been shown to be useful as an antiseptic topical treatment for infections.
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