High incidence of skin diseases in middle-aged and elderly people in autumn and winter, beware of herpes zoster “coming to the door”

When the seasons change and the temperature drops, the immunity of middle-aged and elderly people is weakened, and they are often threatened by chronic diseases and infectious diseases. In this regard, Hao Fei, director of the skin plastic surgery and beauty center of the Third Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, said that the immune function of middle-aged and elderly people is prone to disorder when the seasons change, and the risk of causing infectious skin diseases such as herpes zoster virus is higher. Skin health problems in the elderly population.

Middle-aged and elderly are prone to herpes zoster, and chronic diseases increase the risk

Hao Fei introduced that herpes zoster is an acute skin and mucous membrane infection caused by varicella-zoster virus infection involving nerves and skin. Herpes zoster is easy to appear in the period of trauma, fatigue, malignant tumor or early recovery from serious illness and other periods of decreased immunity. Age is also an important factor in the onset of herpes zoster. Middle-aged and elderly people over 50 years old belong to the high-risk group of herpes zoster. .

“Herpes zoster is an infectious skin disease that seriously affects the quality of life of middle-aged and elderly people. It will form a series of disease manifestations such as erythema, blisters, and pain.” Hao Fei reminded that elderly patients with chronic diseases have a higher risk of herpes zoster. There are also adverse effects on comorbidities after the attack, which will reduce the quality of life of patients and increase the suffering of the disease.

Having a history of chickenpox ≠ avoiding shingles

Being vaccinated against chickenpox or having a history of chickenpox does not mean immunity from developing shingles. Hao Fei explained that the “culprit” of both shingles and chickenpox is the varicella-zoster virus, but the two belong to different diseases. The virus is lurking in more than 90% of adults. As the immune function gradually declines, the virus lurking inside the spinal nerve roots can cause shingles, which is not necessarily related to whether chickenpox occurred in childhood.

Shingles disease itself does not cause mutual infection, although there is a large amount of infectious virus in the blister fluid of the affected area, but it is wrapped in the skin and is usually not transmitted in the air. Chickenpox is an acute respiratory infectious disease, which is different from herpes zoster. Hao Fei suggested that in view of the risk of virus transmission in patients with herpes zoster in the acute stage, they need to pay attention to protection in daily life.

Be alert to post-herpetic neuralgia and reduce the burden of disease by early prevention

The varicella-zoster virus infects and damages the body’s sensory nerves, causing episodic or persistent severe pain. Among them, the pain symptom that still exists after the shingles rash is cured is postherpetic neuralgia. Hao Fei said that about 10%-30% of patients will have postherpetic neuralgia, and the elderly and patients with underlying diseases are at higher risk of postherpetic neuralgia than other healthy people. Some elderly patients may permanently lose their ability to take care of themselves after the disease and cannot return to a normal life.

“At present, we have no way to prevent the varicella-zoster virus from entering the human body, and vaccination against shingles is a very effective way to prevent the outbreak of the virus. If you have relevant medical needs, you can consult the community health service center. Hao Fei emphasized that in addition to vaccination, it is necessary to maintain healthy living habits such as a balanced diet and moderate exercise, and to improve the immunity of middle-aged and elderly people to prevent the occurrence of shingles.