Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash that can lead to itching, blisters, headache or fever. This condition is extremely common and impacts approximately one in three adults in the United States. Shingles is a disease that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
If you have had chickenpox in the past, the virus will stay in the body and may reappear later on as shingles. There is no cure for shingles but treating the symptoms of this virus can help keep the pain at bay and help prevent shingles from disrupting your overall quality of life.
Shingles are caused by a virus, including a virus that can stay in the body for decades. While it is most common in aging adults age 60 and older, it can also impact children as well (although it is rare). There are certain individuals who are more likely to develop shingles, including those with medical conditions that keep their immune systems down, such as leukemia or HIV. It is also common in individuals who are taking immunosuppressive drugs.
Most people are able to diagnose shingles early on as the early signs of this condition include burning or shooting pain, tingling, itchy or a severe rash. This rash may be painful or create blistering on the skin. The pain associated with this condition can range from mild to severe. The rash most commonly occurs in a single stripe or pattern on one side of the face or body.
The shingles rash may also include symptoms such as fever, chills, headache or upset stomach.
There is no treatment for shingles. Getting vaccinated against shingles can lessen your likelihood of getting this condition. However, that doesn’t mean that shingles outbreaks still don’t happen. If you are suffering from shingles and the painful symptoms associated with this condition, our pain management doctors can diagnose you and get you on a treatment plan that will help get your pain under control.