Herpes zoster, also called shingles, is known to essentially feed off prior victims of chickenpox. Once you have experienced chickenpox, it is necessary to be aware of any symptoms relating to shingles. If you think you are experiencing symptoms or have questions about your symptoms, the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help diagnose, treat, and give tips on prevention. Below you will learn more about shingles symptoms, treatment and prevention.
Once exposed to chickenpox, the virus that caused chickenpox lives on in your nerve tissue. This same virus often sneaks up many years later and reveals itself in the form of shingles. Even though not everyone who has had chickenpox develops shingles, they should be aware they are a prime target of this viral infection.
If you contract shingles, it will expose itself in the form of a rash. Shingles rash can appear anywhere on the body, but often appears as a single stripe that wraps around the left or right torso. Other common symptoms may include pain, tingling, sensitivity to touch, fluid-filled blisters or itching. Once any of these symptoms become present, treatment should be considered.
If you believe you may have shingles, a dermatologist should be seen to provide accurate treatment and diagnosis. It is even more important to see a dermatologist if the shingles rash is near your eyes or if you are age 60 or older. Another reason to see a dermatologist once shingles is detected is because the virus can be contagious and transferred to anyone who is not immune to chickenpox. While you will not pass on shingles, you will infect them with chickenpox. Until your shingles scab over you are considered contagious and should avoid physical contact with others.
Preventing shingles can be done through the Varivax vaccine or available shingles vaccines. Varivax is given to children to prevent chickenpox. It can also be given to adults who have never had chickenpox. Zostavax and Shingrix are two vaccines given to protect against shingles. Zostavax is a single injection that protects against shingles for five years. Shingrix is given in two doses but it is likely to protect you longer than five years against shingles. No vaccines eliminate the possibility of getting shingles or chickenpox but greatly reduce your odds of having either.
If shingles is contracted, prompt treatment can speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of complications. This treatment from dermatologists will include prescription antiviral drugs. Since shingles last between two and six weeks, the sooner a dermatologist can diagnose and treat you, the better for your overall health. Other remedies include taking a cool bath and using wet compresses to relieve any itching and pain you may be in.
If you are worried about shingles or are seeing shingles symptoms and are in the Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas, complete this form. A dermatologist from Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can get you the diagnosis or treatment needed.
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