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What Shingles Can Do to Mature Generations

Have you ever had chickenpox? If so, you are at risk of getting shingles. Knowing how to prevent shingles and the signs and symptoms to look for will help you get treatment as soon as possible. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are here to help you learn more about shingles and how to treat them.

What to Know About Shingles

What Are Shingles

Shingles are a virus that affects mature generations because you cannot get them unless you have previously had chickenpox, which typically occurs during childhood. After you have had chickenpox, the virus that caused it goes into a “resting phase”. When the virus arises from its resting phase, it results in shingles. This can happen at any time and for any reason. Those most likely to get shingles are 50 and older, on certain medications such as steroids, or undergoing cancer treatments.

When shingles occur, they can appear anywhere on the body but typically appear on the torso in the form of a single stripe that wraps one or both of your sides. Shingles can spread across your body and can also spread to others who have not had chickenpox before.

Common symptoms of shingles are tingling, burning, and soreness in one area of the body. Redness, a rash, and blisters may also appear. Shingles often last for 10 days up to a few weeks and is typically severely painful. Eventually, the blisters dry up, but the redness and pain associated with shingles may stick around longer. Identifying and having shingles diagnosed is important so you can begin treatment.

Prevention and Treatment for Shingles

The most common way to prevent shingles is with the shingles vaccine. It is given in two doses over the course of one year and has mild side effects. It does not guarantee you won’t get shingles, but it can reduce the chances of getting it and its severity if you do get it.

If you are at risk, you should see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Although there is no cure, prescription antiviral drugs can speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of complications. If you are in severe pain you may be given a numbing cream, narcotics or corticosteroids to help. Luckily, shingles is something you will only have to experience one time as it typically does not reoccur.

Some may experience complications while they have shingles, such as postherpetic neuralgia, vision loss, neurological issues, or skin infections. Postherpetic neuralgia is when the blisters and rash go away, but the pain continues. This is due to damaged nerve fibers sending mixed messages of pain from the skin to the brain. Although unlikely, shingles can occur around your eyes. If this happens, you are at risk of vision loss. Since shingles affects the nerves, neurological problems can occur based on nerves in the brain being affected, though this is unlikely. Lastly, if your shingles are not properly taken care of or taken care of in a timely manner, it can cause bacterial infections.

Early prevention or diagnosis can save you from these complications. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois, or surrounding areas, complete this form. A dermatologist from Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help with the vaccine, diagnosis, or treatment.

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