People who have had the chicken pox or have received the varicella vaccine are at higher risk for getting shingles because they are both caused by the same virus. The virus is dormant in the body until it is reactivated years later. Shingles manifests as a blistery red rash that causes pain and itching. The rash begins with tingly red patches on the skin and progresses to fluid-filled blisters that tingle, ooze, burn, and hurt. The fluid eventually releases from the lesions and causes a crusty mass of itchy areas that usually flank the midsection. Less common symptoms include chills, fever, diarrhea, joint pain, numbness, and headaches.
At Medical Dermatology Specialists, we know how miserable shingles can be. Board certified dermatologist, Dr. Jamie Weisman blends experience, skill, and compassion to care for patients suffering with shingles. She may recommend antiviral and pain medications to help ease the pain and hasten the healing of the sores. Though shingles has no cure, antiviral drugs are effective at reducing the symptoms and duration of the outbreak. To fend off possible postherpetic neuralgia, anti-inflammatory agents are often used. Other ways that someone with shingles can help soothe the condition are:
- Applying calamine lotion to the blisters and red patches;
- Avoiding rubbing and scratching the area;
- Removing clothing that touches or sticks to the sores;
- Taking oatmeal baths;
- Taping sterile bandages loosely over the rash; and
- Cooling the affected areas with ice or a bath.
A vaccine for shingles was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 and is recommended to all of our patients over the age of 50. Studies show that the vaccine lowers the chance of contracting shingles by 50%. In the event you develop symptoms of shingles or have questions about it, contact us immediately at Medical Dermatology Specialists. Dr. Weisman is a highly regarded dermatologist who will develop a comprehensive plan to treat your shingles outbreak and minimize a recurrence.
Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328