Shingles

Shingles stems from the childhood illness of chickenpox; however, our board-certified dermatologists can help treat this condition.

Shingles is a rash on the skin that affects the nervous system and can irritate as well as cause pain.

Causes

The same virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. This virus is called the varicella-zoster virus.

Due to this, everyone that has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles. It is most common among people over the age of 50, but can develop at any age. The risk of developing shingles is greatest among individuals who have conditions or are undergoing medical treatments that weaken their immune systems.

These include:

  • HIV Infection
  • Chemotherapy or Radiation therapy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Transplant operations
  • Stress

Symptoms

Headache, nausea and fever will be part of the onset of shingles. Shingles begins as painful, burning and itching sensation, varying in the degree of discomfort. A ring of the rash will most likely form around the waist of a person with shingles, and it can form up to two weeks after the initial contraction of the virus. 

The rash will become a series of blisters filled with fluid, before becoming a scab. This is a sign that the body is healing itself of the shingles. However, some pain and discomfort may remain for several months after the blisters have gone.

Treatment

Antiviral drugs are prescribed to speed recovery from shingles. However, antivirals work best when taken 24-72 hours after the appearance of the rash. 

If you think you may have shingles, call our office today to request an appointment.

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