Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After someone has had chickenpox, the virus remains in their body and can reactivate itself later in life as shingles. It is estimated that 1 in 3 Americans will develop shingles during their lifetime. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of shingles or have recently been diagnosed with it, Arlington Dermatology in Rolling Meadows, IL can help. Read on to learn more about shingles and treatments available at Arlington Dermatology.
Symptoms of Shingles
The most common symptom of shingles is a painful rash accompanied by a tingling or burning sensation on one side of your body or face. The rash usually appears as a band or patch of red bumps or blisters that can be very itchy. Other symptoms include fever, chills, headache and fatigue. In some cases there may be sensitivity to light and an upset stomach with nausea and vomiting.
When to See a Doctor for Shingles
It’s important to seek medical attention if you think you have shingles so that you can receive antiviral medication which can help reduce the severity of your symptoms and prevent complications such as postherpetic neuralgia (pain after the rash clears). Additionally, people who are over 50 years old or have weakened immune systems due to illnesses like cancer should visit their doctor right away if they suspect they may have shingles.
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Shingles?
Dermatologists are highly skilled at diagnosing shingles to provide quick relief to their patients. The first step taken is an assessment of the patient’s history and physical symptoms, including any skin abnormalities that may be present. Then the doctor will perform a visual inspection of the area, often using a clinical instrument to get an even closer look. If shingles is suspected, then your dermatologist can scrape some fluid from a blister and send it for lab testing to confirm the diagnosis. Once shingles has been diagnosed and confirmed, the doctor can advise on what treatment course is best for the individual situation.
Ways to Cope & Treat Shingles at Arlington Dermatology
At Arlington Dermatology we offer many treatments to help manage your shingles including antiviral medication, cold compresses, calamine lotion, and bandaging the areas affected by the rash. We also recommend avoiding direct contact with other people until all blisters scab over so that you don’t pass on the virus through contact with others who haven’t been vaccinated for chickenpox yet.
Treatment for Scars from Shingles at Arlington Dermatology
Once active sores from shingles heal up completely, scarring may remain which can cause discomfort and self-consciousness for some people. At Arlington Dermatology we offer laser resurfacing treatments to minimize scars left behind from shingles lesions while also improving skin tone and texture overall! This treatment is minimally invasive but provides excellent results when done correctly by an experienced dermatologist like those at our practice!
Contact Arlington Dermatology Today for Shingles Help
If you think you may have contracted shingles, it’s important to seek medical attention right away so that antiviral medications can be prescribed if needed and other treatments options such as topical creams/ointments can be discussed with your doctor. Don’t wait–reach out today to schedule an appointment with Arlington Dermatology in Rolling Meadows, IL! We look forward to helping you feel better soon!