May 10, 2018 Source:

You feel stabbing pain, itching and burning, headache, and blisters. Your skin comes down with a rash, red in nature and filled with fluid. You’re wondering to yourself, “what’s going on”? Many others are similarly confused, although the condition is fairly common, affecting one in three individuals in their lifetime. The culprit is shingles, a disease that causes painful blisters and rashes on one side of the body, often the torso and face. Over time, the blisters break and dry, creating a noticeable crust over the skin. Most people with shingles will only have one episode, but others may have recurrent episodes.

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. In individuals who had chickenpox in the past, they are at risk of developing shingles later in life when the virus reactivates. Some individuals are more at risk of developing shingles, especially those 60 years of age or older and those with a weakened immune system. Emotional stress may also contribute to the development of shingles. Individuals at risk of developing shingles should avoid contact with those who have shingles, as the virus can be transmitted through contact with fluid originating from the blisters.

In the event that you are suffering from shingles, visit your health care provider. Primary care physicians, such as family physicians and internists, are able to help you manage your condition. Treatment options include antiviral drugs, pain medications, or corticosteroid medications. Our team of physicians are happy to go over your options with you!