Shingles in Columbus, OH
More information about shingles has been released to the general public in recent years. The condition involves an extremely painful rash of blisters. At Downtown Dermatology, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham is uniquely qualified to provide effective shingles treatments to those living in the Columbus and Upper Arlington area.
What is Shingles?
The extremely painful rash of blisters associated with shingles is caused by a viral infection of the skin. In most cases, the rash appears on the torso but can develop anywhere on the face and body. The virus responsible for shingles is varicella-zoster, the same virus that causes chicken pox. If you have had chickenpox, you are a carrier of the varicella-zoster virus, which is why you are at risk for developing shingles. The skin condition is not life-threatening, but most people are unable to withstand the pain of the rash. You may develop shingles if you:
- Have certain medical conditions that affect your immune system, such as cancer or HIV/AIDS
- Take certain types of medications
- Are 50 or older
- Are undergoing cancer treatment that weakens your immune system
Shingles Treatment Benefits
The varicella-zoster virus is also known as herpes zoster and is a member of the herpes family that is related to cold sores and genital herpes. You can transmit the virus to people who have not had chickenpox. In addition to the pain of the blistered rash, other complications can develop as a result of shingles, such as:
- Skin infections
- Vision loss if the condition develops around the eyes
- Post-therapeutic neuralgia, a condition that occurs when the pain associated with shingles continues even after the rash disappears
- Nerve damage that may cause paralysis, balance problems, hearing loss and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
What Areas Can Be Treated for Shingles?
Shingles most often develops on the torso and wraps around the body, but the rash may affect the face and any other part of the body. Dr. Hicks-Graham takes into consideration the location of the rash when recommending treatments.
What Can I Expect From Shingles Treatment?
Treatment for shingles is intended to manage the symptoms and expedite the healing of the rash. You will always be a carrier of the varicella-zoster virus associated with shingles. Common symptoms of shingles are:
- Sensitivity to light
- Numbness, burning, tingling and pain
- Red rash with blisters
- Sensitivity to touch
Shingles Treatment Preparation
Before your consultation with Dr. Hicks-Graham, please prepare the following information:
- Personal and family medical history, including any exposure to or development of chickenpox
- Current medications
- Measures that you have taken to control the symptoms and/or treat the rash
- Date when you first experienced the rash or other symptoms
Shingles Treatment Recovery
Shingles cannot be cured, so the goal of treatment with Dr. Hicks-Graham is to alleviate the symptoms while eliminating the rash. She may prescribe:
- Antiviral medications
- Pain medications, either oral or topical
Treatment typically takes two to six weeks. Most people only experience one outbreak of shingles, but it is possible to have multiple outbreaks over your lifetime.
How Much Does Shingles Treatment Cost?
Treatment for shingles is covered under medical insurance. Our patient coordinator will help you determine your co-payment, deductible and co-insurance amount. Payment can be made by cash, check or major credit card. Financing is also available through CareCredit®.
Is Shingles Treatment Right for Me?
Although shingles may resolve on its own, you should seek medication attention from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham to alleviate the symptoms and avoid complications. She will also explain how to prevent spreading the varicella-zoster virus to others.
If you have an extremely painful rash with blisters, you may have shingles. Contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hicks-Graham to learn about your treatment options.
If you have had chickenpox during your lifetime, you are at risk for developing shingles. At Downtown Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham is highly qualified in the management of shingles for those living in the Columbus and Upper Arlington area.