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Facial rose is called an inflammatory, very painful change in the facial skin. The most common causes of facial rose are shingles and erysipelas (erysipelas, erysipelas).
Viral cause - shingles
The disease arises as a result of chickenpox infections. If children develop chickenpox, the virus persists in the body even after the acute infectious disease has subsided and "hides" in certain nerve nodes. The pathogen sleeps there and can be reactivated at any time. The virus can come back to life through massive stress, immunodeficiency, cancer or other illnesses, such as a violent flu. But a new chickenpox contact can trigger the disease. The same applies to excessive sun exposure.
When the viruses are reactivated, shingles develop, called herpes zoster (the chickenpox virus, varicella zoster virus, belongs to the herpes virus). However, the prerequisite for shingles is that the person affected has had chickenpox before. The incubation period and risk of infection of the two diseases differ significantly. Chickenpox is extremely contagious and the incubation period is 11 to 21 days. The pathogens in shingles, however, are not so easily transmitted and the incubation period is somewhat shorter - one to two weeks.
Symptoms - shingles
The actual symptoms are often preceded by symptoms such as a general feeling of illness, weakness, fatigue, fever, chills and a tingling and burning sensation on the skin. The affected areas are sensitive to touch. Only then do the typical skin symptoms appear, namely in the affected nerve region. Red spots appear, which then turn into liquid-filled blisters, combined with often very severe pain. The regional lymph nodes can also swell. These skin symptoms are typically closely clustered in shingles. After about a week, the vesicles burst and crust over. After another three to four weeks, the skin symptoms heal.
In principle, shingles can affect any nerve root, with the trunk most often affected. The shingles on the face form a special form here - the facial rose.
Symptoms - shingles on the face
Since, as already mentioned, shingles affects nerves, a nerve is also affected in facial roses. This is the largest, sensitive facial nerve called the trigeminal nerve. It cares for cheeks, nose, forehead, eyes and also the scalp. The disease can spread anywhere here. As with other forms of shingles, the facial rose begins with a general feeling of sickness, exhaustion and fever. All of this can occur two to three days before the skin appears: burning pain, reddish swelling and small nodules arranged in small groups in the affected area. In the further course, small, liquid-filled bubbles develop.
Course of the disease
The faster the treatment, the faster the facial rose can heal. If therapy is started immediately for the first symptoms, the blisters dry up within a week. Overall, the course depends on the age of the patient. On average, it takes two weeks for the patients to feel significantly better. However, this can take longer. In the face in particular, nerve pain can remain for weeks or months, which is particularly the case in older patients. This is referred to in technical terms as post-zoster neuralgia.
In worse cases, the facial rose can also affect the eye - called zoster ophthalmicus. Massive swelling in the eyes and lids, increased lacrimation and photophobia as well as a lifelong impairment of vision are possible consequences. Another complication is the zoster oticus - here there are vesicles in the external auditory canal - in the worst case this can lead to hearing loss or even deafness. Infection of the facial nerve can cause facial paralysis, facial paralysis.
The fluid in the vesicles is infectious. Children who have no immunity can contract chickenpox through contact. Affected people should therefore keep away from children, people with weakened defenses and pregnant women. After touching the affected areas on the face, hands should be washed or disinfected.
Treatment of shingles on the face
To relieve the symptoms, depending on the rash and stage, ointments and / or tinctures are prescribed. Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or diclofenac, only help with mild pain. However, the pain is often so pronounced that weak opioids are prescribed with so-called co-analgesics (medicines that are given together with a pain reliever). This combination is often chosen for severe nerve pain.
Antiviral therapy is necessary to treat the cause - especially if the disease is very severe. It is best to use this as early as possible. For this purpose, corticosteroids may be combined with antiviral agents.
Naturopathic therapy for shingles on the face
Autologous blood therapy is used when the immune system is affected. In order to cope with the virus more easily in the face rose, the body is retuned by self-blood therapy and its self-healing powers are stimulated. The autologous blood that is drawn from the vein can be processed with substances that additionally stimulate the immune system. If you want to work more gently, use potentized autologous blood therapy, which uses a drop of blood from the fingertip to make different vials with spilled autologous blood for oral use.
After a detailed medical history, the right individual remedy for the patient is sought. Some examples are: Apis mellifica, Arsenicum album, Cantharis, Causticum, Lachesis and Rhus toxicodendron.
Orthomolecular Medicine (OM)
Orthomolecular medicine prescribes nutritional supplements. Vitamin C, zinc and a high-dose vitamin B complex should be mentioned for the treatment of facial rose.
Phytotherapy keeps some plants ready to relieve and heal the facial rose. The coneflower (Echinacea) stimulates the immune system, sarsaparilla (Smilax aristolochiaefolia), burdock root (Bardanae radix) and bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) have a detoxifying and draining effect. Envelopes made from oak bark (Quercus cortex), pansies (Viola tricolor) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) are astringent. St. John's wort oil is carefully cautiously dabbed on the affected areas, brings relief and supports the healing process.
In the acute stage, pain can be alleviated with the help of acupuncture. Permanent needles are helpful, which can be brought to specific points during ear acupuncture, reduce pain and stimulate the immune system.
Bacterial cause - erysipelas
Erysipelas, an inflammation of the skin, is caused by bacteria. Most often, streptococci are the culprits who penetrate through small skin injuries, such as a small tear or a mosquito bite. Flame-like redness develops within hours or a few days. General symptoms such as severe illness, fever, chills, joint or headache and nausea are associated with this disease. Lymph channels can become inflamed. If the face is affected, there is talk of facial rose.
Symptoms - facial erysipelas
As already mentioned, the skin of the facial rose, triggered by an erysipelas, is extremely red, swollen and very painful. Blisters can form on the skin. Initially, the face is usually unilaterally affected, but the symptoms can pass symmetrically to the other half of the face after a day or two. The general symptoms mentioned above also belong to a facial rose.
A facial rose can spread like a butterfly, with the eyelids also swelling. It is possible to expand to the eye socket and neighboring blood vessels. Another complication is reaching over to the middle ear. In the worst case, the inflammation spreads to deeper skin layers, which can lead to pus formation and abscesses. A life-threatening complication of facial rose is meningitis or thrombosis of the cerebral vein. Unrecognized gates and foci can cause chronic recurrent erysipelas on the face, which means that the facial rose always breaks out in the same place.
Immune-weakened people, such as AIDS patients, patients after organ transplants, people with diabetes or people with circulatory disorders, have an increased risk of developing a facial rose or another form of erysipelas.
Antibiotics are the treatment of choice for treating facial rose caused by erysipelas. If the disease is very severe, it is initially administered through the vein. A hospital stay may be necessary. It is important that the portal of entry heals completely so that no recurrences can develop. Pain-relieving and antipyretic drugs are also prescribed.
If you have a facial rose, you should speak as little as possible and eat passed foods so that the painful chewing movements are reduced to a minimum. Cooling the affected area somewhat relieves the pain.
Naturopathic therapy for erysipelas on the face
Accompanying the conventional medical treatment, naturopathic therapy is possible and also recommended.
Colostrum contains a small immune factory. This helps to activate the immune system. The intestine benefits in particular. So taking colostrum capsules or the colostrum liquid in connection with taking antibiotics, as indicated for facial rose, is highly recommended. The intestine is not so stressed - in addition, the colostrum supports the effect of the antibiotic.
The following homeopathic remedies are recommended for a facial rose: Belladonna, due to the massive, flaming redness; Apis mellifica for swelling with stinging pain; Rhus troxicodendron against the possible blistering. Experienced therapists should choose the right remedies.
External applications can relieve the symptoms of a facial rose. Conditions with healing earth are helpful. A porridge made of healing earth and cold water is prepared for this, placed on a clean cloth, wrapped in from both sides and then placed with the thin side on the affected areas.
Dabbing with diluted Calendula Essence also helps (Calendula Essence: boiled water - 1:10). Calendula ointment, applied very thinly, can also bring relief.
The salts number 3 Ferrum phosphoricum, number 11 Silicea and number 17 Manganum sulfuricum help here.
If you have a facial rose, taking colloidal silver can do you good. When buying, it is essential to pay attention to purity and quality. The liquid can also be sprayed onto the skin.
Plants that especially help with bacterial infections are nasturtiums and horseradish roots. These two are known as "natural antibiotics". They are available in combination preparations, as a tincture or in fresh plant juices.
Acupuncture is also recommended for this type of face rose. It can strengthen the immune system and relieve pain.
General information about facial rose
Regardless of the cause, facial rose is a serious illness and needs rest and a break for those affected. It is important to fully cure the disease. A light, vitamin-rich diet is supportive. Patients suffering from a facial rose should avoid drafts, cold and moisture. To strengthen the defense, however, exercise in the fresh air (protected with a scarf) and regular relaxation exercises are advised. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Merck & Co., Inc .: Zoster ophthalmicus (accessed: August 5, 2019), msdmanuals.com
- Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG): Shingles (accessed: August 5, 2019), gesundheitsinformation.de
- Robert Koch Institute (RKI): RKI guide to chickenpox (varicella), shingles (herpes zoster) (accessed: August 5, 2019), rki.de
- Lenarz, Thomas / Boenninghaus, Hans-Georg: Otorhinolaryngology, Springer, 14th edition, 2012
- Amboss GmbH: Herpes zoster (shingles) (accessed: August 5, 2019), amboss.com
- Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG): Wundrose and Phlegmone (accessed: August 5, 2019), gesundheitsinformation.de
- National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD): Erysipelas (access: 05.08.2019), rarediseases.org
ICD codes for this disease: A46, B02ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find yourself e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.