Clark 732.574.1399 | Kearny 201.998.4699 | Teaneck 201.837.3939 | Jersey City 201.792.4500 | West New York 201.861.4226 | Staten Island 718.448.4488

Shingles Treatment Clark, Kearny, Jersey City, Teaneck, West NY, New Jersey and Staten Island New York.

Shingles (herpes zoster) occurs when the virus that causes chicken pox is reactivated in the body, usually as a result of a stressor such as illness or a weakened immune system. It's for this reason that individuals who have never had chicken pox are not at risk of developing shingles. The shingles virus causes inflamation of the nerves which can be very painful.

Overview

If you've had chicken pox, the virus that causes it remains in your body for your entire life. For most people, it remains dormant but for others - about one in three, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - the virus flares up and becomes active, causing the painful condition known as shingles.

Shingles is less contagious than chicken pox, but it can still be spread to others who have not had chicken pox. People who are at higher risk for shingles include those who:

  • Are over 50 years of age
  • Have been ill
  • Have a weakened immune system, either from illness or medical treatment such as chemotherapy
  • Have been under considerable stress
  • Have taken cortisone for a prolonged period

Signs and Symptoms

The blisters from the painful viral infection are not usually as itchy as chicken pox sores, but they can be quite painful. Here are some of the signs and symptoms you should look out for as the condition progresses:

  • Burning, tingling or itchy areas of skin which typically occur on one side of the body and which persist for several days
  • A rash that develops in the area where the sensations first occurred
  • Clear blisters in the rash area which slowly turn yellowish before scabbing over in about two to three weeks
  • Flu-like symptoms including fever and headache

Pain typically occurs in the blistered area and may resolve when the blisters heal. However, in some patients the pain may persist for months after the blisters disappear.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Most cases can be diagnosed with a physical examination, but in some cases, your doctor may take a skin scraping in the blistered area and have it examined under a microscope or by a lab technician.

Left untreated, the rash typically resolves on its own within a few weeks. However, because of the pain involved in most cases and the pain and itching that may persist for months or even years afterward, seeing a doctor and having professional medical care is highly recommended.

Treatments may include over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, depending upon the pain you're feeling; antiviral medications, which can lessen pain and also shorten the duration of symptoms; nerve blocks, reserved for cases of intense pain; and anesthetic creams or other medications once the rash clears to minimize pain.

Outcomes and Follow-up

Post-herpetic neuralgia is the most common problem patients face after the initial signs and symptoms disappear. This condition causes protracted pain, itching and tingling which can last for months or even years. When the eyes become involved, permanent damage to sight can occur. In addition, if the rash is scratched, it may become infected. Getting early treatment is the key to the best outcome, so see your doctor at the first sign of symptoms. If you are in a high risk group, ask your physician or dermatologist about annual shots to help prevent outbreaks.



Cosmetic, Medical & Surgical Dermatology


Metropolitan Dermatology Locations

1075 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066
732-574-1399
Clark NJ location servicing Edison, Westfield, Elizabeth, Linden, Scotch Plains, & Cranford, NJ

757 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
201-837-3939
Teaneck NJ location servicing Hackensack, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Englewood, and Bergenfield, NJ.

703 Kearny Ave.
Kearny, NJ 07032
201-998-4699
Kearny NJ location servicing Jersey City, Nutley, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, and Hoboken, NJ. *Formerly 752 Kearny

1324 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10301
718-448-4488
Staten Island NY location servicing all of New York City!

3202 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201-792-4500
Jersey City, NJ location servicing Jersey City and Newark.

114 Lakeview Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
South Plainfield, NJ location coming in early 2017

449 60th St.
West New York, NJ 07093
201-861-4226
West New York NJ location servicing Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Hoboken, & Secaucus NJ