Shingles in Austin Texas: What You Need to Know
September 13, 2022
Shingles is an extremely painful rash-like condition that can affect many people who are older, especially those who are over 60, or who have a weakened immune system. Left untreated, it can cause a wide variety of unpleasant symptoms and even cause permanent damage. Unfortunately, while shingles can often be easily treated soon after their rash first appears, many people don’t see a doctor soon enough. That’s why it’s important to be aware of what shingles is, how it’s caused, and what its symptoms are, so that you can seek out shingles treatment as fast as possible.
In this informative blog, find out what shingles is and how it works, and learn about the most common symptoms of and treatment options for shingles in Austin.
What are Shingles?
While many people often assume that chickenpox (that itchy, rash-like infection we often get when we’re younger) is a “one-and-done” illness, that’s not the case for everyone. For about 30% of the population, chickenpox, or rather, the “varicella zoster virus” that causes it, has a second act. That’s because while the symptoms of chickenpox recede over time, the virus itself never truly goes away. Instead, the virus embeds itself into your nerves near your spine, where it lies dormant in your nervous system long after your chickenpox symptoms have resolved.
Shingles—otherwise known as “herpes zoster”—refers to the condition that one can experience if the virus reappears. Many years after someone has recovered from chickenpox, the long-dormant varicella zoster virus can reactivate in your skin’s sensory nerves. This can cause a very painful rash to develop, along with a variety of other unpleasant symptoms, that can last as long as six weeks if left untreated.
What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Shingles?
Shingles can result in a number of different symptoms, at different stages of time.
When the virus first “reactivates,” you’ll often begin by feeling an irritating or tingling sensation in a particular spot on your body. Within about a week, the spot will often begin to feel itchy or numb, and a red rash will appear in the area, followed by liquid-filled blisters. Over the next several weeks, the blisters will dry up and crust over into scabs, which can last for some time. You may also experience flu-like symptoms—like: fever, headache, and fatigue or malaise—sometime after.
The pain caused by shingles can last for over a month, but it usually eases over time. For some people, however, the pain can linger for several months or longer.
How Can I Treat Shingles in Austin, TX?
When it comes to treating shingles, early intervention is key. If the condition is diagnosed within 72 hours after the rash first appears, a shingles doctor in Austin can prescribe antiviral medication to ease your symptoms. If, however, this window of opportunity is missed—as many people experience—more powerful medications may be needed to treat your pain.
In these cases, other medications may be prescribed, such as oral steroids, painkillers, anticonvulsants and certain antidepressants (to ease nerve pain). Moreover, skin patches—bandage-like patches that contain topical medication that provide pain relief—may be recommended to compliment treatment.
When To See A Doctor for Shingles Treatment in Austin, TX
Generally speaking, you should see a shingles doctor as soon as you notice a rash forming, so that they can prescribe an antiviral drug to clear the virus as soon as possible.
If your rash clears but the pain persists, you should also see a pain management doctor in Austin as soon as possible. They can work with you to develop a treatment plan that manages the pain and that eases your symptoms.
Finally, if you haven’t already received a shingles vaccine in Austin, ask your doctor about getting vaccinated. The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine in most all adults over age 60, since age is a significant risk factor in developing complications.
Get Shingles Pain Relief in Austin Today!
Are you suffering from shingles in Austin Texas? Need help?
If you suspect you are experiencing shingles, early intervention is key to stop the progression of symptoms, before they lead to debilitating pain or serious complications.
Contact the Greater Austin Pain Center today to schedule an appointment with one of our shingles pain specialists in Austin! We can help diagnose what’s causing your pain or irritation, and work with you to develop a comprehensive plan to treat it. Should you need pharmaceutical medication or professional intervention to treat your pain or discomfort, we also can prescribe it and perform it in-house.
For shingles treatment in Austin, TX, choose the experts at Greater Austin Pain Center today!