Let’s Talk About Shingles
Many people don’t realize this, but shingles is actually one of the diseases that dermatologists specialize in! The official name that doctors use for shingles is herpes zoster. If you had the chicken pox virus in the past, then you are at risk for developing shingles, because the chicken pox virus stays in your body. A shingles outbreak happens when the virus moves out to the skin. Shingles is normally treated with a prescription anti-viral medication.
Most people who get shingles develop a very painful blistering rash. People tend to notice pain, burning, and/or tingling in the area one to two days prior to the blisters and redness showing up. It is VERY important to get in to the doctor if you have any shingles-like symptoms and have it treated as soon as possible so that you are not left with a chronic pain syndrome in the affected areas. This chronic pain condition is called post-herpetic neuralgia.
Shingles can also lead to other long-term health issues, such as issues with your eyesight if you have a shingles outbreak on your face. Most of the time, people only get shingles once, but it is possible to have an outbreak again.
An active shingles outbreak can be contagious. If you have active blisters, you must avoid being around pregnant women, children, and anyone with a weakened immune system.
After you have seen your doctor and been given the prescription treatments, there are some over-the-counter things that you can use at home to help relieve the symptoms. Alternating Ibuprofen and Tylenol can help with pain, and you can also add Benadryl with it at bedtime. Topically, Epionce Renewal Calming cream, capsaicin cream, or Sarna lotion may help with any itching and/or burning that occurs.