Shingles are caused by a virus known as varicella-zoster, the same virus responsible for causing chickenpox. Like chickenpox, shingles are highly contagious and can be transmitted through physical contact with open blisters of the rash. Often triggered by a dormant version of varicella-zoster, shingles is most common in adults over the age of 60 and those with compromised immune systems. Fortunately, Dr. Anthony Dee, your dermatologist in Buffalo, NY, offers treatment for shingles and other rashes and skin conditions. Read on to learn more!
Shingles Treatment in Buffalo, NY
Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is a painful, blistery rash that usually develops in a band on one side of the body, from the spine to under the breast, although it can also develop on other areas of the body like the face and neck, as well. It's hard to predict when/if someone will develop shingles, although there is a vaccination available to help lower the risk. Unlike the chickenpox rash that can cover large areas of the body, shingles usually just develop on one side.
The signs and symptoms of shingles include:
- Pain/numbness/tingling/sensitivity to touch (typically develops before the rash appears)
- Blisters (eventually rupture and crust)
- Light sensitivity
While shingles are not life-threatening, the pain can be intense. People with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions like the elderly or people with cancer are especially vulnerable to complications.
While a person that has never had chickenpox won't develop shingles on their own, they can contract the varicella zostra virus from someone with shingles and develop chickenpox as a result. If you suspect that you or a member of your family has shingles, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Vulnerable people are advised to get vaccinated if possible.
The typical outbreak lasts between two to six weeks and is usually treated with antiviral and pain medication.
Find a Dermatologist in Buffalo, NY
For more information about the symptoms and treatment options for shingles, contact our office today by calling (716) 636-3376 to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist, Dr. Dee.