Posts for: September, 2018
What are the symptoms of and treatments for this painful dermatological condition?
Did you know that anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles, and that those over the age of 50 are more likely to develop this condition? Approximately one out of three Americans will have shingles at some point in their lives. Read on to learn more about this common problem.
What is shingles?
Shingles is caused by a virus known as the varicellazoster virus, which is the same virus known to cause chickenpox. If you’ve had chickenpox before the virus never truly goes away. Instead it lies dormant within the nerves of the spinal cord and brain. When the virus is reactivated, it manifests as shingles.
What are the symptoms of shingles?
The main symptom of shingles is a red, painful rash that usually appears on one side of the body. The rash may be tender to the touch and typically causes intense itching. The rash is made up of blisters that burst and crust over. Your rash may also be accompanied by malaise, fever, or headache.
What are the risk factors for shingles?
Anyone who has been infected by chickenpox can have shingles. However, this illness is more common in those over the age of 50 and the risk continues to increase as you age.
Also, those who have a weakened immune system due to certain chronic diseases like HIV, or those currently undergoing cancer treatment may be at an increased risk of developing shingles.
Different shingles treatments
While there is no cure for this disease there are antiviral medications you can take to promote faster healing and to reduce your risk of developing other complications. If you are experiencing severe pain, we may also recommend prescription pain medications or creams to help ease your symptoms. Most people experience shingles symptoms for about two to six weeks.
Can I prevent shingles?
There are two vaccines that we recommend for preventing shingles. The first is the chickenpox vaccine, which is recommended for children and any adults who have never had chickenpox. The second vaccine is the shingles vaccine. While these vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective, they can greatly reduce your chances of developing shingles.
If your shingles rash has developed near your eye or is severely painful, then it’s time to see your dermatologist right away for treatment.
Find out simple yet effective ways to protect your skin and keep it healthy.
Whether you spend a lot of time outside soaking up the sun’s rays or you suffered from some pretty nasty sunburns as a child, there are many factors that can increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Fortunately, our dermatologist, Dr. David Shearer in Florence, KY, is here to provide you with a plethora of ways to protect your skin and reduce your chances of skin cancer:
Know When to Seek Shade
The sun’s rays are their strongest between the hours of 10AM-4PM, so if you want to truly protect your skin you’ll want to stay in and avoid the sun during these hours. Of course, we understand that it isn’t always possible to hide out (particularly if you work outdoors), so we offer some other helpful hints for when you do have to go outside during these peak times.
Always Wear Sunscreen
Sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun and it’s such a simple step you can take. Wearing sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays is necessary. Also look for a sunscreen that contains at least an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outside and be generous when it comes to putting it on. Be sure to always reapply after sweating or swimming.
Protect Against Sunburns
One of the worst things for your skin is to get sunburned. While this happens to a lot of people, make sure that you and your family always wear protective clothing, hats and sunscreen when outside. It’s always a good idea to keep newborns out of the sun as much as possible. Once your little one turns six months old you can start applying sunscreen whenever your baby goes outside.
Stay Away from Tanning Beds
It should go without saying that using a tanning bed is so very dangerous for the health of your skin. Decades ago people didn’t quite understand the extent of damage tanning beds could cause their skin, but now we do. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, people who have used a tanning bed before the age of 35 increase their chances of developing melanoma by about 75 percent.
Get Professional Screenings in Florence, KY
It’s always a good idea, even if you do stay out of the sun often enough, to come in once a year for a professional skin cancer screening. While you should be performing self-exams every month so that you can detect changes that might warrant a trip to our office, it’s best to play it safe and visit us annually, too.
Skin cancer can be scary, but it’s important that you have a dermatologist that you can trust to make sure that you get the quality skin care you deserve. Whether you want to schedule a skin cancer screening or you have questions about your skin care regime, call Dr. David Shearer, your dermatologist in Florence, KY who can help.
Welcome to Our Blog!
The Dermatology Center would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about dermatology care and our practice.
At The Dermatology Center we believe that educated patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding their skin health and wellbeing. Our blog was designed to provide you with valuable skin health care information, the latest dermatology developments and skin care advice from our dedicated team.
The Dermatology Center hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper skin care and treatments.
We welcome all comments and questions.
-- The Dermatology Center