Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) is a nerve infection caused by the chickenpox virus. Shingles develop from the activation of a dormant virus caused by initial infection with chickenpox. Often the first sign of shingles will be pain or a tingling sensation in a linear pattern on one side of your body. It can then begin to manifest as red patches on the body that soon develop into blisters. The blisters may remain small or can grow larger. The blisters typically heal in 2 – 4 weeks and may leave some scarring. When you start to experience the symptoms of shingles, call our office and Dr. Myers will be able to develop a treatment plan that will help alleviate the pain and rash associated with shingles.
Is Shingles Contagious?
Patients with shingles should avoid close contact with other individuals until the rash has healed. While contact with healthy adults appears to be safe, it is important to be cautious with whom you come in contact. Dr. Myers encourages his shingles patients to keep away from persons who have never had the chickenpox virus. Small children or infants can catch chickenpox from someone with Shingles. Individuals whose resistance is lowered by illness or certain medications can also catch Shingles and should be avoided by those diagnosed with shingles.
Most cases an antiviral medicine is used for shingles treatment. Dr. David Myers, a local dermatologist in Lehi, Utah, will also commonly prescribe medicine that helps prevents post-herpetic neuralgia as a shingle treatment, a condition where a painful sensation persists over the area where the rash was.
It is important not to open your blisters even when they become painful. Instead, compress the blisters or crusts for 10 minutes twice daily with a mixture of one-quarter cup white vinegar and two quarts of lukewarm water for relief. If you do pick at the blisters and your skin becomes dry and cracked, you can rub a small amount of petroleum (plain Vaseline) 3 – 4 times a day to the affected area.
If you have questions concerning Shingles, Shingles Treatment or Herpes Zoster, call our office and schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. David Myers. At your visit, Dr. Myers will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan for your condition.
Dr. David Myers
Dr. David Myers is a board certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery. His expertise and attention to detail make him a trusted doctor in his community.
Shingles And Risk For Other Diseases
Recent research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that people who developed herpes zoster, or shingles, had a 60 percent higher risk of heart attack, and a 35 percent higher risk of stroke.
The reason for the connection is unclear, researchers say. However, an increase in cardiovascular events is common after any major health issue.