Wednesday, May 22, 2024

What Is The Best Doctor To See For Shingles

Rebooting The Nervous System

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

Its like restarting a computer, Dr. Rosenquist says. When its running slowly or acting weird, you restart it. We are trying to turn that nerve off. When it comes back on, hopefully, it will send an appropriate transmission as opposed to a pain transmission.

Treatmentoptions for PHN patients include:

  • Intercostal nerve blocks: A local anesthetic can be injected between two ribs.
  • Thoracic epidural injections: Anti-inflammatory medicine can be injected into the space around the spinal cord to decrease nerve root inflammation and reduce pain.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: Medications such as amitriptyline may be used to relieve pain.
  • Membrane stabilizers: Medications such as gabapentin can be used to reduce the pain associated with PHN.
  • Capsaicin cream: This topical cream can be applied to the affected area to relieve pain temporarily.
  • Patientswith refractory PHN rarely need opioid pain medication. However,you should be evaluated by a physician. We cant make a blanket statement abouttreatment. It is individualized, she says.

    Treating The Pain Of Phn

    Exactly how best to deal with the pain is a difficult question. Rice led a research team that looked at 35 clinical trials of various treatments. The findings appear in the July issue of the free-access online journal PloS Medicine.

    “The most important thing to realize is these are painkillers,” Rice says. “You are treating the pain, not the disease itself. And this is due to permanent nerve damage. It is like a stroke. We can’t make the nerve damage better, but we can treat the disability. And for PHN, pain is one of those disabilities.”

    What helps? Rice’s team found good evidence supporting:

    How Do Dermatologists Treat Shingles

    An antiviral medication can:

    • Reduce the amount of time that you have a shingles rash

    • Lower your risk of developing long-lasting nerve pain and other health problems

    One of three antiviral medications is usually prescribedacyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir.

    To treat your symptoms, dermatologists typically recommend the following:

    Pain: Medication that you can buy without a prescription can help, such as:

    If you have severe pain, your dermatologist may prescribe a medication that reduces inflammation, such as a corticosteroid.

    Read Also: What Is The Drug Name For The Shingles Vaccine

    What Is Shingles Treatment Like

    Since shingles has no complete cure, treatment focuses on helping patients find relief from their symptoms. An outbreak typically lasts two to six weeks, which can seem like an eternity if you have no medication to help with the pain and other symptoms. When you come in for your evaluation and consultation, you can discuss your symptoms with Dr. Clark. Since shingles can cause different symptoms and occur in different body areas for patients, it is important to work with a professional dermatologist who can match you with the right treatment for you.

    Treatments include:

    Shingles And Nerve Paths

    TCM News: Best TCM Doctor for Shingles, Herpes Zoster, Postherpetic ...

    Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. Only people whove had chickenpox or chickenpox vaccines can develop shingles. Having a chickenpox vaccine can lead to shingles because the vaccine contains the virus that causes chickenpox.

    Shingles isnt contagious, but people who have not had chickenpox can develop chickenpox if they come in contact with open blisters of somebody with shingles.

    After your body fights off a chickenpox infection, the herpes zoster virus remains dormant in your cranial nerves and spinal ganglia until it becomes reactivated. Spinal ganglia are nerve cells that connect your spinal cord to nerves in your body and limbs.

    The virus reactivates when your immune system is no longer able to suppress it. Reactivation most commonly occurs in older adults because the immune system tends to get weaker with age, as well as in people with suppressed immune systems.

    Once the virus is active, it usually spreads down sensory nerve fibers that lead from your spinal cord to your skin. These nerves carry sensory information like feelings of pain, itchiness, or pressure from your skin to your spinal cord and brain.

    Once the virus gets to the end of these sensory nerves, it reaches your skin and usually leads to a rash. This rash often shows up in one or two nearby areas of skin called dermatomes.

    A dermatome is an area of your skin where the sensation is supplied by one spinal nerve.

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    Diagnosis Treatment And Outcome

    How do dermatologists diagnose shingles?

    To diagnose shingles, a dermatologist will look at the skin and ask some questions.

    If there is any doubt, the dermatologist may scrape a blister to get a sample. This sample will be examined under a microscope. Also, the dermatologist may send the fluid from a blister to a laboratory for testing.

    Shingles: Shingles can involve the eye.

    If you have shingles on your face, see a doctor immediately. Without treatment, shingles can damage an eye.

    Can I Give Shingles To Others

    No one can catch shingles from you. But the virus can be spread to a person who has never had chickenpox. The virus lives in the blisters that shingles causes. It can be spread until the blisters are completely healed. If you have blisters that have not crusted over yet, you should stay away from:

    • Anyone who has never had chickenpox
    • Babies under 12 months old
    • Very sick people

    Tell your doctor if you live with children who have not had chickenpox. They may need to be vaccinated.

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    Dermatologists Share Tips For Treating Shingles

    Newswise SCHAUMBURG, Ill. If you have ever had chickenpox, or been vaccinated for it, you are at risk for getting shingles a painful, blistering rash. This is because after the chickenpox clears, the virus stays in the body. If the virus reactivates, or wakes up, you could get shingles.

    Although shingles is much less contagious and itchy than chickenpox, it tends to cause more pain, said board-certified dermatologist Daniela Kroshinsky, MD, MPH, FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology, Harvard Medical School. In addition, although the shingles rash usually clears in a few weeks, some people can experience pain, numbness, itching and tingling that can last months or even years.

    According to dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology , common signs and symptoms of shingles include:

    • An area of skin that burns, itches, tingles or feels very sensitive: This usually occurs in a small area on one side of the body and lasts one to three days.
    • A rash that begins as red spots and quickly turns into groups of clear, painful blisters: These may turn yellow or bloody before they scab over and heal.
    • Flu-like symptoms: A fever or headache may occur with the rash.
    • Pain: Sometimes, the pain is bad enough for a doctor to prescribe medication. The pain tends to lessen once the blisters heal, which can take two to three weeks.

    To help relieve shingles pain and discomfort, the Academy recommends the following tips:

    # # #

    How Do You Treat Shingles

    Medical Minute: Shingles with Dr. Manuel Rodriguez

    There isnt a cure for shingles, but Dr. Forsythe and Dr. Oppong offer treatment solutions to manage your symptoms at Innovative Pain Solutions Centers.

    The most common therapies for shingles pain include:

    • Medication management, such as antivirals or pain relievers
    • Topical treatments, like creams, gels, or sprays
    • Nerve blocks to treat nerve pain at the source

    For more information on shingles pain treatments, call Innovative Pain Solutions Centers or schedule an appointment online today.

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    Where Does Shingles Come From

    When you have chickenpox as a child, your body fights off the varicella-zoster virus and the physical signs of chickenpox fade away, but the virus always remains in your body. In adulthood, sometimes the virus becomes active again. This time, the varicella-zoster virus makes its second appearance in the form of shingles.

    When To See A Doctor

    Chronic intercostal neuralgia can greatly impact a persons quality of life.

    The condition can be extremely uncomfortable. Chronic pain from intercostal neuralgia can also lead to reduced movement and poor sleep quality. It can also make it difficult for a person to breathe.

    Also, intercostal neuralgia has some symptoms in common with other potentially serious health conditions. These include:

    For this reason, it is important for anyone with prolonged or acute intercostal neuralgia to see a doctor immediately.

    People should also see a doctor if they experience other symptoms of shingles.

    Recommended Reading: How To Treat Shingles Blisters

    Avoid Scratching The Blisters

    It might be tempting to scratch or pick at the blisters, especially if theyre causing you discomfort. Know that theyll eventually crust over and fall off if you leave them alone.

    Scratching at blisters or scabs can lead to infection and scarring. Cleaning and covering them regularly with a new sterile bandage can help reduce the likelihood that youll pick at the rash.

    Keeping the rash clean is one part of the process. The other is to make sure you bandage it properly, especially if the rash is still weeping .

    When dealing with a painful shingles rash, your best bet is to use bandages that are:

    When youre switching the dressing, allow the skin to dry before covering it with a new bandage.

    In addition to keeping the rash protected, bandaging also prevents you from passing the varicella-zoster virus to another person. Be sure to keep bandages on any areas of the rash that havent scabbed over yet.

    While shingles isnt contagious, the virus that causes it can be passed to anyone who hasnt had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine. If they come into skin-to-skin contact with the fluid that oozes from a shingles blister, they could end up with chickenpox, according to

    How Well Does Shingrix Work

    TCM News: Best TCM Doctor for Shingles, Herpes Zoster, Postherpetic ...

    Two doses of Shingrix provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication of shingles.

    • In adults 50 to 69 years old with healthy immune systems, Shingrix was 97% effective in preventing shingles in adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective.
    • In adults 50 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective in preventing PHN in adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 89% effective.
    • In adults with weakened immune systems, Shingrix was between 68% and 91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on their underlying immunocompromising condition.

    In people 70 years and older who had healthy immune systems, Shingrix immunity remained high throughout 7 years following vaccination.

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    Why Choose Uhealth

    World-class leaders in skin care treatment. University of Miami Health System is recognized throughout South Florida and the world as a leader in caring for conditions and disorders of the skin. Backed by one of the nations top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide superior, personalized treatments for dermatologic conditions.

    Compassionate care in an academic medical center. You benefit from the state-of-the-art technology and latest medical advancements developed by our researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. You will receive the most accurate diagnosis and a detailed plan to keep your skin healthy.

    Who Is At Risk

    Shingles is a risk for anyone whos ever had chickenpox, particularly older adults and people who have a weakened immune system, explains Dr. Danoff. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant for years, then reactivate and produce shingles.

    People whove had chicken pox and those with weakened immune systems are at risk for developing shingles.

    So if youve never had chicken pox, are you in the clear? Not necessarily, explains Dr. Danoff. People whove never had chickenpox cant develop shingles, but they could get chicken pox from coming into contact with the rash or blisters on a person with shingles.

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    How Is Shingles Treated

    Specific treatment for shingles will be determined by your healthcare provider based on:

    • Your age, overall health, and medical history
    • How long the shingles have been present
    • Extent of the condition
    • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
    • Expectations for the course of the condition
    • Your opinion or preference

    There is no cure for shingles. It simply has to run its course. Treatment focuses on pain relief. Painkillers may help relieve some of the pain. Antiviral drugs may help lessen some of the symptoms and reduce nerve damage. Other treatments may include:

    • Creams or lotions to help relieve itching
    • Cool compresses applied to affected skin areas
    • Antiviral medicines
    • Anticonvulsants

    A Word About The Shingles Vaccine

    New treatment for the pain of shingles

    If you are age 60 or over and have not had shingles, talk to your doctor about getting the shingles vaccine. Not only will it reduce your risk of developing shingles, but if you do develop shingles, youll be more likely to have a mild case. And, just as important, youll be much less likely to develop PHN if youve had the vaccine.

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    Help Is Available For Phn

    Fortunately,early treatment for shingles can lower your chances of getting PHN.

    For some people, the pain becomes refractory, or resistant to treatment, explains Dr. Rosenquist. So we want to treat shingles as fast as we can ideally as soon as somebody feels a tingling or burning sensation, even before a rash develops.

    Sheadds that whenever nerve pain is involved, some people respond to treatment andsome dont.

    However,medications taken orally or injected that can target the affected nerves may beable to stun the nervous system into behaving properly. That meanstransmitting the appropriate signal to the brain.

    Who Should Not Be Vaccinated With Shingrix

    You shouldnt receive the Shingrix vaccine if you:

    • Have ever had a severe allergy to this vaccine or any ingredient in this vaccine.
    • Are breastfeeding or pregnant.
    • Currently have shingles.
    • Are ill and have a high fever.
    • Have tested negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus .

    Ask your healthcare provider if the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh any potential risks.

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    Can You Get Shingles If You Havent Had Chickenpox

    No. You cant get shingles if youve never had chickenpox, but you can get chickenpox from someone who has shingles. If youve never had chickenpox and you come into direct contact with the oozing, blister-like rash of someone with shingles, the varicella-zoster virus can infect you and you would develop chickenpox.

    Once youve had chickenpox, you could develop shingles at some point in your life. This is because the varicella-zoster virus never fully goes away after youve had chickenpox. It lies quietly inactive in your nerve tissue. Later in life, the virus may become active again and appears as shingles.

    Can you get chickenpox more than once?

    Its rare to get chickenpox twice in your life. Once youve had chickenpox, youre usually immune to it for the rest of your life. However, its not totally impossible. If you have a severely weakened immune system , you can get chickenpox a second time. If youve had chickenpox, you are more likely to get shingles at some point in your life than a repeat bout of chickenpox.

    How Dermatologists Treat Shingles

    TCM News: Best TCM Doctor for Shingles, Herpes Zoster, Postherpetic ...

    There is a vaccine for preventing shingles, although it does not cure the onset of shingles. Once you have an outbreak, your dermatologist can recommend a plan of treatment to ease the pain of shingles and reduce the rash. Your dermatologist may prescribe anti-viral and pain medications to attack the virus and make you feel more comfortable while the rash heals. Your dermatologist may also suggest steps you can take at home to ease the itching and pain of shingles. If you believe you may have shingles, its important to seek medical attention. Your dermatologist can help you with pain management and help you heal faster. Avoid contact with women who are pregnant, anyone who has not had chickenpox or has not been vaccinated against the virus, and people who have weak immune systems. Once the blisters have completely scabbed over, the condition is no longer contagious.

    If you are concerned about shingles, to schedule an appointment with our board-certified dermatologists or walk into Walk-in Dermatology at your convenience for immediate evaluation.

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    Why Is The Shingles Vaccine Important

    Shingles causes a painful rash and blisters and it can lead to serious complications. The most common complication is post-herpetic neuralgia , a condition that causes burning pain that can last long after the shingles rash and blisters go away. The older you are when you get shingles, the more likely you are to develop PHN.

    Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent shingles and PHN.

    Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays dormant in your body. The virus can activate years later and cause shingles.

    Symptoms of shingles include:

    Shingles cant spread from person to person like chickenpox. But if you have shingles, you can spread the virus to someone who isnt immune to chickenpox meaning someone who hasnt had chickenpox and isnt vaccinated against it. If that happened, the person might get chickenpox but not shingles. Learn more about shingles.

    • Adults age 50 and older
    • Adults 19 years and older who have a weakened immune system because of disease or treatments

    You need to get 2 doses of Shingrix. Youll need the second dose 2 to 6 months after the first dose. You need to get Shingrix even if you:

    • Have already had shingles
    • Have been vaccinated against shingles with Zostavax
    • Are not sure if youve had chickenpox

    Pain Management Located In Bowie Md Laurel Md & Salisbury Md

    Nearly one in three Americans will have shingles during their lifetime, a condition that can cause intense pain. Akara Forsythe, MD, and Joseph Oppong, Jr., MD, are experienced pain management specialists with three convenient Innovative Pain Solutions Centers locations in Maryland. If youre suffering from shingles pain, schedule an appointment in Bowie or Salisbury, Maryland, by calling Innovative Pain Solutions Centers or booking online today.

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