f you or someone you love has had shingles, you know all about the painful rash it causes. Shingles is the same virus that causes chickenpox. When those itchy red spots of chickenpox disappear, the virus lies in a dormant state in our nerve cells, ready to strike again in later life.
In its reincarnated form, it is the varicella zoster virus, or Shingles. The condition can occur anywhere on your body. However, it most often appears as a single strip of blisters that wraps around the left or right side of your torso, waist, stomach or back.
Shingles typically lasts between two and six weeks. Most people get shingles just once, but it’s possible to get it two or more times. In rare cases, shingles can spread into the brain or spinal cord and cause serious complications such as stroke or meningitis (an infection of the membranes outside the brain and spinal cord).
Treatment for shingles
Although there is no cure for shingles, immediate treatment with prescription antiviral drugs can speed healing and reduce the risk of complications. These medications include Acyclovir (Zovirax®) and Valacyclovir (Valtrex®).
For the severe pain of shingles, your doctor may also prescribe:
- Capsaicin topical patch (Qutenza®).
- Anticonvulsants such as gabapentin (Neurontin®).
- Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline.
- Numbing agents like lidocaine, in the forms of creams, gels, sprays or skin patches.
- An injection including corticosteroids and local anesthetics.
Head-to-toe healthcare for all your family’s needs is close to home
At Pomona Valley Health Centers, we provide everything from routine exams to treatment for shingles, care for chronic illnesses and more. But the things we specialize in are compassion, convenience and on-time, hassle-free care. And with five locations throughout the Inland Empire, there’s a good chance you won’t have to travel far to get the quality healthcare you deserve.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 909-536-1493 or click here to request an appointment online.