Shingles Treatment in Birmingham, AL
Shingles is a skin condition that has been the subject of media attention in recent years. Also known as herpes zoster, shingles may occur in older adults who have a history of childhood chickenpox. Dermatologists of Birmingham provides education, diagnosis and treatment of shingles for people who live in Birmingham, Alabaster and surrounding areas in Alabama.
What is Shingles?
Shingles is a skin condition that activates in adults who had chickenpox as children. The condition typically develops in patients who are 50 or older. The reason is that, as we age, our immune systems gradually decline. A triggering event, such as stress, injuries or illnesses, can be enough to create an imbalance that allows the virus to become active. You may be at greater risk for shingles if you had chickenpox as a child and:
- Have HIV/AIDS or cancer
- Receive certain types of cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy
- Take medications to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted organ
- Have a history of long-term cortisone use
Shingles can be prevented with a vaccination, and treatment for shingles focuses on reducing the severity of the condition.
Benefits of Shingles Treatment
Shingles is a painful condition and can be debilitating. The benefit of shingles treatment is to lessen the symptoms and shorten the length of the outbreak.
How Do I Know If I Have Shingles?
Shingles can be detected early. If you notice a localized sensitivity, itching, tingling or burning on your skin, it may be an early sign of shingles. The outbreak produces significant symptoms, such as:
- A rash that develops in the same area as the early signs
- Blistering of the skin
- Flu-like symptoms
The early signs of shingles may last three days or longer. The rash develops next, followed by blisters that can last several weeks. Pain associated with shingles may last for several months.
What to Expect from Shingles Treatment
Your dermatologist may prescribe several medications to lessen the symptoms of shingles, such as:
- Anti-viral medications if the condition is diagnosed within 72 hours of when the rash first appeared
- Nerve blocks and other pain relievers
- Corticosteroids for inflammation
How Much Does Shingles Treatment Cost in Birmingham?
Shingles treatment is covered by most insurance carriers, so you may only have a portion of the cost to pay out-of-pocket. After your consultation, we review your coverage and personal costs. Because shingles treatment is necessary to maintain quality of life during an outbreak, we take every possible step to make the treatment affordable for our patients. We accept payment by cash, checks, major credit cards and our financing options.
We encourage patients who are 50 or older to have a shingles vaccination. If you do experience a shingles outbreak, we provide treatment to minimize the impact on your life. If you believe that you have shingles or would like to learn more about treatment, contact us today to schedule a personal consultation.
*Individual results may vary. The content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a qualified physician.