What is Shingles?
Shingles is a viral skin condition that represents itself as an itchy, painful skin rash that is a result of the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. We treat shingles, which can appear anywhere on the body. In most instances, shingles appear on the torso or on the side of the face as a line of blisters. While it is more common for older adults to develop shingles, it can also affect teens and young adults. Researchers believe that shingles are caused by a weakened immune system or a disruption within the nervous system. Our skilled and knowledgeable staff at Advanced Dermatology is able to effectively treat shingles and manage symptoms when there is a recurrence. Contact any of our dermatology offices in Katy, League City, Pearland, or Sugar Land, TX to make an appointment.
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What Causes Shingles?
Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles because after recovering from chickenpox, the virus may stay put in the nervous system and lie dormant for years. A weakened immune system caused by stress, disease, or overall aging can put a patient at risk for developing shingles. It's not entirely clear why the virus is reactivated, but shingles can only develop — not chickenpox. There's also a small chance that an individual with a shingles rash can spread the virus to another person who has never had chickenpox.
What are the Symptoms of Shingles?
The most common symptoms of a shingles outbreak are the feeling of pain, numbness, itching or burning, and/or a red rash. These symptoms usually appear a few days after you first begin experiencing discomfort. Other symptoms include sensitive-to-the-touch and fluid-filled blisters that can break open and crust over. If you have shingles, you may feel fatigued, be sensitive to light, have a fever, or have a headache, which is very similar to symptoms of the flu. Shingles happen in stages with pain occurring first and then visible skin-related symptoms following.
What are the Treatment Options for shingles?
While there's no cure for shingles, there are antiviral drugs that may help control the severity of your symptoms and hopefully lessen the damage shingles can cause on your skin.
Your practitioner at Advanced Dermatology may prescribe a topical numbing gel, cream, skin patch, or spray. A pain relief cream, such as capsaicin cream, can be applied to the shingles rash to reduce pain. Prescription-strength pain relievers can also be prescribed. We may prescribe a medication to help you cope with the pain and symptoms, and decrease the danger of post-herpetic neuralgia (persistent pain in the area after the shingles rash has healed).
YOur Experience Matters
If you have experienced any of the painful or visible symptoms associated with shingles, please call Advanced Dermatology today to schedule an appointment for a thorough examination. Our team of highly trained medical professionals will rate your symptoms, provide a proper diagnosis, and get you started with the appropriate treatment protocol. We conveniently see patients in Katy, League City, Pearland, and Sugar Land, TX at Advanced Dermatology.