Shingles Treatment in Midland, TX
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the virus stays in your body and can reactivate later in life to cause shingles.
You should see a doctor if you think you have shingles. Early diagnosis and treatment can help relieve your symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. There is no cure for shingles, but there are treatments that can help relieve the pain and other symptoms.
What Causes Shingles?
As we mentioned before, shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This virus is also known as human herpesvirus 3 (HHV-3). After you have chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in your body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles.
The reactivation of the virus is most often seen in people over the age of 50; however, it can occur at any age. The older you are, the greater your risk for developing shingles. People who have weakened immune systems (from diseases like cancer or HIV/AIDS) are also at a greater risk for developing shingles.
Symptoms of Shingles
Shingles usually starts with pain, tingling, or burning in one area of your body. This is followed by a band or strip of painful rash and blisters on one side of your body (typically your torso or face). The rash usually clears up within 2-4 weeks, but the pain can last for months or even years after the rash has gone away—this is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Other symptoms of shingles include fever, chills, headache, and upset stomach.
How Is Shingles Diagnosed?
To diagnose shingles, your doctor will likely ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam to look for signs of a rash or blisters. They may also order tests like a viral culture or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm that you have HHV-3 (the varicella-zoster virus).
How Is Shingles Treated?
There is no cure for shingles, but there are treatments available to help relieve pain and other symptoms associated with the illness. These treatments include antiviral drugs, like valacyclovir (Valtrex), famciclovir (Famvir), or acyclovir (Zovirax); prescription creams or ointments to numb the pain; corticosteroid injections; antidepressants; anticonvulsants; cooling pads or dressings; or over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Schedule an Appointment
If you’re looking for treatment for shingles in Midland, Texas, we would love to see you at Midland Dermatology! Our board-certified dermatologists and certified physician assistants can help diagnose, manage and treat your skin condition.
For more information or to schedule an appointment at Midland Dermatology, call 432-689-2512.
*The content provided in this post is for informational purposes and does not diagnose or treat any medical conditions or diseases. Always seek guidance from a physician regarding any medical concerns you may have.