Around one-third of people in the United States get a shingles infection at some point in their lives, usually years after a chickenpox infection which originates from the same virus. At Houston Skin Associates in Webster, Museum District, Houston, and Pearland, Texas, medical and cosmetic dermatologists manage shingles symptoms with medications and home care strategies. To schedule a treatment consultation, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Shingles are a viral infection originating from the same virus as chickenpox. Similar to chickenpox, shingles cause skin symptoms and irritation. If you had chickenpox early in life, the virus can stay in your system for years before developing into shingles.
The primary symptom of shingles is a long strand of blisters running along one side of your body, like your neck, torso, and face. The infection should clear up within a few weeks, but in the meantime, they can be very painful. Your rash can also develop fluid-filled blisters that burst easily with pressure.
If you have symptoms of shingles, the team at Houston Skin Associates examines you after reviewing your medical history. While there is no treatment that fully resolves a shingles infection, you can get treatments to ease some of the pain, burning, and redness.
The team at Houston Skin Associates prescribes medications to manage shingles and offers helpful tips for relieving symptoms. Your treatment for shingles might involve:
Antiviral medications can help your shingles’ infection clear up a bit faster than it would otherwise. They also reduce your risk for complications from the illness.
Many medications can ease the pain and burning of shingles. Some options include antidepressants, lidocaine, corticosteroid injections, and topical capsaicin.
Home care also helps ease symptoms like pain and redness. You can care for your shingles infection by applying a cold compress, avoiding stressors, and applying calamine lotion.
Shingles aren’t contagious, so you can’t catch them from someone who has it. However, if you’ve never had chickenpox before, you can get it from someone who has shingles. Typically, the virus spreads through contact with open blisters.
The vaccine for chickenpox also helps prevent shingles. Most people get the vaccine’s two doses during childhood to significantly reduce their chances of infection. If you’re an adult who has never had chickenpox, you should also consider getting the vaccine.
There is a vaccine specifically for shingles to prevent complications and severe shingles symptoms. If you’re over 50, you can talk to your health care provider about getting the vaccine for yourself, even if you’ve never had chickenpox.
If you have shingles symptoms and would like to explore options for treatment, call Houston Skin Associates or book an appointment online today.