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Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that can occur anywhere on the body in the form of a line of blisters on the torso.

It is usually painful and also contagious. The cause of shingles is believed to be the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox also has the varicella-zoster virus, which remains dormant except for its outbreak as shingles.

Someone who has contracted shingles can transmit the virus to anyone who is not immune to chickenpox; that is, anyone who has not had a vaccination. In those people, the virus is spread through direct contact with the shingles. Interestingly, the direct contact results in chickenpox, but not shingles.

What are the symptoms of Shingles?

Shingles is usually localized around the trunk of the body and presents itself as a very painful red rash accompanied by numbness and/or a tingling sensation.

Other symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Severe itching

Who can get Shingles?

Those who are at greater risk for shingles are:

  • People over age 50
  • People with compromised immune systems (due to life-threatening illnesses such as cancer or leukemia)
  • People who are not immune to chickenpox

What are treatment options for Shingles?

The best defense against shingles is the chickenpox vaccine. Once shingles has appeared, however, treatment options include:

  • Prescription antiviral drugs such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Numbing creams or sprays
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants

Get Shingles treatment at Vienna, Virginia

This Forefront Dermatology clinic, is led by board-certified dermatologists, Dr. Steven Rotter, Dr. Fran Rotter, Dr. Christian Millett, Dr. Missale Mesfin, Dr. Sarah Taylor and Dr. Rhett Kent, offering Shingles treatment to the residents of Vienna, Virginia.

Call (703) 442-0301 or fill out the consult form to request your appointment today.

Have questions about Shingles? Contact us for a consult.