Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash. It can develop in anyone who has previously had the chickenpox. After having the chickenpox, the varicella virus that causes it lies dormant in the nerve cells until it is reactivated at a later date in the form of a painful rash of blisters. It is most common in adults over the age of 50 when the immune system has become weaker; however it is not unusual for younger patients to develop shingles.
Although vaccines are available, it is still possible to get shingles after being vaccinated. The risk increases with age. It is recommended that a person with suspected shingles see a dermatologist to ease symptoms and prevent a long, uncomfortable course. We are able to treat patients with shingles at Aesthetic Specialty Center.
Shingles Related Problems
It is imperative that patients seek treatment to avoid complications that can arise with shingles.
Post-herpetic neuralgia is common with shingles. Symptoms include sensations of pain, tingling and numbness. Patients can also experience fatigue, have difficulty sleeping, and a loss of appetite. These symptoms, the pain in particular, can last for a long duration of time from several months to years.
Ocular Shingles occurs when the disease occurs in the eye. Painful blisters may be seen around the eye or eyelid, accompanied by redness and swelling. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light, blurred vision or the feeling that something is stuck in the eye. Ifshingles blisters occur on the face, particularly on the nose, it can be an indication that one may have eye involvement. This can lead to glaucoma and even blindness if not controlled.
The rash will clear up on its own in a matter of weeks, but the other symptoms can last much longer. There are a variety of treatment options based on the extent of the condition.
Shingles can be very painful. Over-the-counter medications may not be strong enough, so a doctor may prescribe prescription painkillers. If a patient is seen by a doctor early enough in the course of shingles, anti-viral medication can be prescribed. The sooner the medicine is taken, the better and faster it works to resolve the rash and minimize potential pain.
After the rash has cleared, other methods of pain control may be used, such as pain relievers, anesthetic creams, or even certain anti-depressants that manage nerve pain. Antibiotic treatment will be needed if a bacterial infection occurs from the blisters.
To discuss your shingles treatment options, call ADSC’s Roswell location at (770) 393-9000 or Greensboro at (706) 467-6500, both of which are conveniently located near Atlanta, Georgia.