What Are Shingles?

Shingles is a common infection of your nerves caused by a virus (the chickenpox virus).

Typically shingles appears as a painful rash on your skin characterized by small blisters on the surface of your skin. Shingles typically appears on only one side of the face or body and may be accompanied by burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching in the early signs of your infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Shingles

The most common symptoms include:

  • Skin sensitivity, tingling, itching, and/or pain in the area of the skin before the rash appears
  • Rash, which typically appears 1 to 5 days after your symptoms begin
  • May initially look like small, red spots that then turn into blisters
  • Headache
  • Feeling a little ill

Causes of Shingles

Shingles is caused when the chickenpox virus is reactivated. After a person has  chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in in our body for many years. Shingles is more common in people with weakened immune systems, and those over 50.

Shingles Treatments

Our team will determine how to treat you based on the following:

  • Your age, overall health and medical history
  • How long the shingles have been present
  • Extent of the condition
  • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures or therapies

Since there is no cure for shingles, we want you to understand it will have to run its course, with our treatment focusing on minimizing any pain and possibly using antiviral drugs to help lessen some of the symptoms.

Our other treatments may include:

  • Antiviral medicines
  • Creams or lotions for itching
  • Cool compresses
  • Steroids