Should I Always Visit My Dr for Shingles Treatment

Shingles is a fairly common viral infection in the UK, with around 250,000 people each year suffering with the condition. It is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus which also causes chickenpox and remains in the nerve tissue as a result. The shingles virus is triggered, generally later in life when the body can longer provide immunity from the symptoms; it is also allowed to multiply when the immune system is in a weakened state possibly due to factors such as stress, poor nutrition or medication for other conditions. People suffer from varying degrees of shingles with some symptoms becoming much more severe than others, a commonly asked question is “should I always visit my Dr for shingles treatment?” the answer will ultimately depend on the symptoms being felt.

Symptoms of shingles

The broad answer to “should I always visit my Dr for shingles treatment?” is yes. It is recommended to see a doctor if you feel you are suffering from shingles as they are the best people to judge whether you need specialist treatment and prescription medication or you are able to recover using only over-the-counter medication and home remedies.

The common symptoms of shingles will develop with fever like feelings and sensitivity, tingling and burning in the affected area; this can last for several days before a rash of small raised red spots appear. These spots quickly turn to blisters which will continue to form over several days before drying out and crusting over. Once the rash appears, pain will also begin to be felt in the nerve endings at the affected area, it is the pain which will often require the most treatment.

If any of these symptoms are being felt on the face then the answer to “should I always visit my Dr for shingles treatment?” is definitely yes. Shingles of the face can often spread to the eyes and can cause a number of complications including scarring of the cornea. Specialist treatment will be needed to prevent damage to the eyes and this can only be given by a doctor.

Shingles in healthy young adults and children

Shingles in children and young adults (including pregnant women) is rare, and anyone that is young and healthy that does develop shingles generally suffers from the mildest of symptoms. In these cases the answer to “should I always visit my Dr for shingles treatment?” would be no, medical advice and prescription medication is not always needed. Mild symptoms can often be managed with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and the rash can be kept under control by eating vitamin rich fruits, vegetables and taking enzyme and vitamin supplements, continually cleaning the rash and keeping it dry also helps. Any sensations of itchiness and irritation can be treated using calamine lotion which is able to soothe skin and dry out blisters.

Capsaicin cream can also be purchased over-the-counter and used as required to relief any symptoms of pain in the affected area.   




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