Shingles are a painful skin condition caused by the virus also is responsible for chicken pox. Anyone who has contracted chicken pox, even as a small child, carries the virus within their body. This does provide immunity to chicken pox, but may leave adults susceptible to a related illness. While chicken pox are contagious, shingles can only be contracted by those who already have had the chicken pox at some point in their life. This painful skin and nerve condition can be very serious, causing long-term damage to the body if not treated by a medical professional.
Symptoms of Shingles
The shingles virus attacks when the body’s immune system is lowered. This can be due to stress, illness, aging or other immune impairments. Once reactivated, the affected person will notice small blisters forming in one area of their body. Shingles follow nerve paths, usually collecting on one side of the body. The blisters may tingle, itch or burn to begin with, then as they crust over, can become extremely painful. This pain can last for weeks if not treated.
Treatment of Shingles
While there is no cure for shingles, there are anti-viral medications which can reduce length of the virus. Most treatments have the highest success when started within the first 72 hours of noticing the condition. If left untreated, shingles can cause nerve damage and a host of other complications. Shingles that spread into the eye can cause blindness, for instance, so it is imperative to see a doctor as soon as possible if you believe you have shingles.
If you begin to see signs of shingles, call to schedule an appointment with your local dermatologist right away. They can give you treatment options to reduce the discomfort and pain, as well as reduce the length of the viral outbreak. Make sure to discuss how to receive vaccinations to prevent future shingles outbreaks.
Posted on behalf of:
Medical Dermatology Specialists
875 Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30342
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