Did You Have Chicken Pox, Then You Need to Watch Out for Shingles

ShinglesShingles is a viral disease that can be incredibly painful. Fortunately, it can be easily treated by Drs. Matsuda and Sheu at Matsuda Dermatology.

The same virus that causes a person to have chicken pox causes shingles. Those who have had chicken pox are at a much higher risk for shingles. As that person goes through life, the varicella zoster virus stays dormant in nerve tissue near the brain and spinal cord. As we get older, particularly after 60, the virus can reactivate as shingles.

What are the signs of shingles?

Shingles symptoms come in stages. They start with headaches and increased sensitivity to light. There can be flu-like symptoms without a fever. Next a shooting or burning pain can be felt on one side of the body or face. There may also be itching and tingling sensations on either area. The pain varies from person to person, but can be severe. After 14 days, rashes start to appear on the face. The pain can linger for weeks, months, even longer.

Who gets shingles?

Older people who have had chicken pox as kids are affected more often. People who are weak from stress, illness, or are taking medications are more susceptible because their immune system may be compromised. Shingles is not communicable.

Treating shingles

It’s important to have the condition diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to head off some of the really severe pain. Drs. Matsuda and Sheu can prescribe antiviral medicines and pain relievers to alleviate the pain. We’ll also give you tips for home care, as that can also help reduce the duration of the disease. If you are over 50, you can also get the shingles vaccine, which lowers your chances of getting the disease.

If you have any symptoms of shingles, call Matsuda Dermatology immediately at 801-949-7568.