Shingles happens when the chickenpox virus reactivates in your body, causing a miserable red rash with blisters. There’s a vaccine for certain ages that can help you avoid shingles, but if you’re dealing with it already, one of the experienced dermatologists at Associated Skin Care Specialists can help. Book your appointment at one of the five convenient locations around the Twin Cities in Fridley, Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, or Eden Prairie, Minnesota, through the online tool or by calling the office nearest you today.
Shingles, or herpes zoster, happens when the chickenpox virus reactivates in your body. It typically strikes in adults 60 and up, but can occur earlier. Shingles is a viral infection that causes some severe symptoms, including an itchy rash, fluid-filled blisters, nerve pain, and flu-like symptoms like fever.
Usually, the shingles rash occurs on just half of your face or body. The blisters generally burst and develop scabs within 7-10 days. After that, the scabs gradually fall off over the next month or so. Although your rash is gone, you might still have nerve pain for months, or even longer.
If you've ever had chickenpox, the herpes zoster virus is in your body for life. Although it doesn't reactivate in everyone, it's still best to take precautions recommended by your Associated Skin Care Specialists dermatologist.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you have the Shingrix® shingles vaccine at age 50. Your primary care physician delivers this vaccine in two separate doses at least two months apart. Although the CDC calls Shingrix "the preferred vaccine," another shingles vaccine called Zostavax® is an option for adults age 60 and older.
If you suffer from a condition that causes a seriously weakened immune system, you may not be a good candidate for the shingles vaccine, even if you're in the age group that would normally need it. You can work with your dermatologist to protect yourself in other ways if you can't have the shingles vaccine.
Yes, you can get shingles again because the virus never actually leaves your body. A shingles vaccine can prevent another bout of shingles.
Your dermatologist can help you recover from shingles if you see them as soon as you have shingles symptoms. Antiviral medications can dramatically lessen your symptoms and shorten your recovery time. If you have severe shingles, you may need pain medication along with home care like wet compresses.
For shingles prevention and relief, click the online appointment tool or call the Associated Skin Care Specialists location closest to you now.