The herpes zoster virus that causes chicken pox stays in the body dormant after the illness. This virus can be reactivated and cause a skin outbreak called shingles decades after a person had chicken pox. Shingles can cause painful, itchy blisters in a rash. While there is a vaccine for shingles, there are still many cases diagnosed every year. Our team of board-certified dermatologists at Greenbrae Dermatology offers a diagnosis and shingles treatment at our clinic in Manhattan.
Causes and symptoms of Shingles
Anyone who has had the chicken pox is susceptible to shingles; however, you cannot get shingles if you have not had chicken pox. Those with shingles can spread the zoster virus, but it will only affect those who have not had chicken pox or a vaccine (usually small children), those with an autoimmune disease or women who are pregnant.
The first signs of shingles are usually a tingling or burning sensation on the skin. Shingles will only affect one side of the body, and outbreaks commonly occur on the torso, but they can appear on the face or other areas. Blisters or a rash appears, often with an inflammation of the skin. Other possible symptoms that accompany this very painful blistering rash include:
- Stomach aches
- Body aches
Shingles typically last about 2-4 weeks and you can get shingles multiple times. There are possible complications that can result from shingles, including blindness, chronic nerve pain, hearing loss and pneumonia. Treatment with prescription antiviral medications from a dermatologist can help minimize symptoms and prevent complications.
Our dermatologists offer effective treatment for shingles. If you have symptoms of shingles, contact us as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment.