If you’re over 50 and have a weakened immune system, you could be at risk of developing shingles, a painful skin condition caused by an underlying virus. Orange County patients and residents of San Juan Capistrano, California, rely on the expert dermatologists at HK Dermatology for prompt diagnosis and a revolutionary new treatment of acute shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Acute Shingles is typically a very painful reddened rash, often with blisters that only affects one side (left or right) or the body. If you suddenly develop a painful rash on your torso, call HK Dermatology and ask for an urgent appointment to see one of the skilled dermatologists.
Shingles is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once you’ve had chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant in your body and reactivate years later as shingles.
Shingles can occur anywhere on your body or head as a painful rash, but most often appears on half of your torso. It’s possible to transmit the shingles virus through physical contact with others who are not immune to chickenpox. However, if you are infected by the virus and you’ve never had chickenpox, you’ll develop chickenpox rather than shingles.
Symptoms of shingles usually include:
You may also have a fever, headache, and feel fatigued as shingles sets in, although the first sign of the condition is usually pain. In fact, it’s possible to experience shingles pain without ever developing the physical rash. If you do have a rash, it usually occurs around one side of your torso, but some people get shingles around an eye or on one side of your face or neck.
A shingles outbreak can last anywhere from 2-6 weeks, and most people only get shingles one time. For most healthy adults, shingles poses no serious health threat and symptoms subside with treatment. However, if you have a weakened immune system or a condition that inhibits your immune system from functioning optimally, you may be more vulnerable to the effects of the shingles virus.
Additionally, pain can continue long after the rash clears up if damaged nerve endings continue sending exaggerated messages to your brain. This condition is called postherpetic neuralgia.
As with several other types of viruses, there is no cure for shingles, but prompt treatment with antiviral medications can significantly reduce symptoms and your risk of additional health complications. Dr. Klein has developed a revolutionary new treatment to significantly reduce the progression of acute shingles and to reduce the pain associated with chronic postherpetic neuralgia.
If you’re concerned about shingles or postherpetic neuralgia and you have any of the symptoms described above, call HK Dermatology or click the book online button to request the next available appointment.