Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
If you have ever had chickenpox, you can develop herpes zoster (or shingles) years later. The chickenpox virus lays dormant in the body for years after the disease. Shingles occurs after the virus becomes active again in these nerves years later.
If you’re concerned about certain skin conditions, please don’t hesitate to contact us online today or call 212-535-3088. Dr. Michele S. Green, a board certified NYC dermatologist, practices the latest techniques at the forefront of skin care to give you the look that you deserve.
Signs and Symptoms
The skin may burn, itch, or tingle in one area or side of the body. A rash can appear at the same time in that area. Within a few days blisters appear which can last 2 to 3 weeks. It is very common to have pain associated with the rash. The pain can persist long after the rash heals. Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and malaise, may also occur with the rash. When shingles involves the facial nerve, hearing loss, drooping eyelid (ptosis) and difficulty moving muscles of the face may also be involved.
Dr. Michele Green may make the diagnosis by clinical exam alone. At times, culture of the virus and blood tests are also performed to rule out concurrent diseases.
Medications include oral antivirals such as valtrex to reduce pain and complications and shorten the course of the disease. Often pain medicine, anti-inflammatory medications and Zostrix are indicated to reduce the risk of postherpetic neuralgia.
Herpes Zoster can be a very debilitating disease. Dr. Michele Green recommends consultation with your internist in receiving the herpes zoster vaccine. Older adults who receive the herpes zoster vaccine are less likely to have complications from shingles.
For additional information and to book an appointment, contact us online today or call Dr. Michele Green’s NYC based office at 212-535-3088