Shingles in West Houston, TX

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About Shingles

Shingles is a skin condition that is brought on by the varicella-zoster virus and causes an itchy, sensitive skin rash. The varicella-zoster virus is the same one that causes chickenpox. Dr. Catherine Papasakelariou and her Houston, TX team regularly treat shingles, which may appear anywhere on the body. In the majority of cases, shingles pop up on the chest or around the sides of the face as a group of blisters. Although shingles are more common for older adults, it can also affect teenagers and young adults. Most individuals who have about shingles will heal quickly and not experience the condition again. However, it can return for some. Researchers believe that shingles are caused by a weakened immune system or a disruption inside the nervous system. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff is able to effectively treat shingles and reduce the probability of reoccurrence.

Causes

Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles because after healing from chickenpox, the virus may enter the nervous system and then lie dormant for decades. A weakened immune system brought on by stress, disease, or general aging can put a patient at risk for shingles. Doctors are unsure why the virus is reactivated, but shingles will only develop — not chickenpox. In some cases, patients may accidentally spread the shingles rash to another person who has never had chickenpox.

Shingles Symptoms

The signs of shingles are often only noticeable on a small portion of one side of your body. The most common symptoms include tingling, itching, burning, and pain, or a reddish rash. Generally, these symptoms appear a few days after you first begin experiencing pain. Other symptoms include discomfort with touch and pus-filled blisters, which could burst open and scab. Patients might also have a fever, headache, fatigue, or sensitivity to light. Some patients might feel as though they have the flu. Individuals with shingles typically find their symptoms arrive in phases with pain and then visible skin-related symptoms following.

Shingles Treatment

While shingles have no cure, Dr. Papasakelariou can recommend several antiviral drugs that provide relief, clear up symptoms, and reduce the probability of complications. Because shingle symptoms are often extremely uncomfortable, she may prescribe a numbing agent in the form of a gel, cream, skin patch, or spray. To reduce pain, you may want to use a pain-relieving ointment, like capsaicin cream. In certain cases, Dr. Papasakelariou may give you prescription-strength painkillers. During your appointment, she will suggest medications to help you manage the symptoms and pain, and decrease the chance of post-herpetic neuralgia (persistent pain in the area after the shingles rash has healed).

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If you are experiencing any of the painful or visible symptoms related to shingles, please call Houston Premier Dermatology in Houston, TX to schedule a consultation for a thorough examination. Dr. Papasakelariou will review your symptoms, provide a thorough diagnosis, and create the best treatment plan for you.

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