What Dermatologists Want Patients Suffering from Shingles to Know


Dermatologists want patients suffering from shingles to know a few things about this very common skin disease. Shingles is a common skin disease that often includes a rash that blisters and causes significant discomfort. Shingles affect those who have had chickenpox because of the virus that caused it. After having chickenpox, the virus moves from the skin to the nerves. If the virus transfers back to the skin at any point, that is when someone will experience symptoms of shingles. It is best to seek treatment from a licensed dermatologist as soon as symptoms appear. Although singles are not contagious, the virus can spread through open blisters, and someone newly infected may get chickenpox if they haven’t or had the vaccine.

Do Not Wait to Treat Shingles

Whether visiting a medical doctor or seeking professional advice from a licensed dermatologist, treatment plans are available that are incredibly effective. Often, treatment includes something for the discomfort. The best dermatologists highly recommend seeking care within two to three days of the first signs of shingles. When early treatment is possible, there can be significantly reduced symptoms and shorter lengths of symptoms, allowing your overall health to recover more quickly. Extensive shingles disease can have devastating long-term effects on a person’s health. Even if someone is unsure what the symptoms were caused by or simply couldn’t get to a professional, they should prioritize getting in for treatment. If shingles spread to the face, it can impact eyesight, and treatment is necessary. Other complications accompanying shingles are loss of hearing, pneumonia, and brain swelling. Shingles are serious business, and only a professional dermatologist with a license to treat shingle patients can provide immediate treatment.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association clarifies that although the medical term for shingles is herpes zoster, it is not the same herpes simplex virus that causes genital herpes and cold sores. Shingles are associated with chickenpox, which is the varicella-zoster virus. Millions of people get shingles yearly, and many are shocked because they don’t recall having chickenpox. Since chickenpox cases vary in severity, a mild case would be hard to remember, mainly because it often happens during childhood.

Dermatologists Know What Causes Shingles

Well, since more than 90 percent of people born before the 1980’s probably had chickenpox at some point, it seems to be curious why some are affected, and others are not. As mentioned earlier, the virus is still in the body and can resurface on the skin. A significant cause of shingle outbreaks is stress. Many adults with high-stress jobs or who experience extraordinary amounts of stress may experience their first shingles outbreak. However, stress can be managed in many ways, and reducing stress may prevent shingles from surfacing. Shingles can be debilitating, making getting dressed challenging and preventing restful sleep, which the body requires to heal.

Others at risk are those with a weakened immune system due to chemotherapy, or some prescription medications may make some people more likely to get shingles. People over the age of fifty are at higher risk because essential T cells deplete with age, leaving older adults more vulnerable to sickness and weakened immune systems. Anyone with chronic medical conditions, organ transplants, or prolonged medical treatments that weaken the immune system is at greater risk of experiencing shingles. The great news is that it is highly treatable!

Can Shingles Be Avoided?

Anyone who has not had shingles yet may be curious if it is avoidable. Anyone who had chickenpox has the virus in their body that causes shingles. However, there are some other things to keep in mind. A healthy body fights off stress and other sicknesses more effectively, so some things can be done that minimize the risk. It is never guaranteed that a person will or will not get shingles at some point in life.

A healthy diet loaded with lots of vitamins and antioxidants from food strengthens the body, enabling it to fight disease better, including shingles. Some choose to take supplements to ensure they are giving the body what it needs but be aware that supplements are not FDA regulated, so do your research because giving your body too much of something it needs can also weaken your system. Exercise is the body’s natural way of relieving stress, so even a short walk around the block or office daily can help. If walking is impossible, swimming or any form of physical fitness benefits the body’s overall health.

Finding a highly qualified licensed dermatologist is an excellent first step if experiencing symptoms suspected of being shingles. Getting a professional to look at the symptoms sooner rather than later can make a world of difference. Dermatologists are trained in all types of skin conditions and diseases. They do not judge and understand what patients are suffering from when they have shingles. A quick, precise diagnosis and an affordable and effective treatment plan are necessary! Many insurances will cover the costs.

Shingles are such a common skin disease that treatments can start to work immediately. If you or someone you know experiences shingles, please do not wait; get relief fast! Contact your local dermatologist or medical doctor.