The same virus that causes chickenpox is responsible for Shingles (herpes zoster), a rash of red patches of skin with small blisters (vesicles) similar to early chickenpox. After you have a bout of chickenpox, the virus becomes dormant and then later emerges a few years later in the form of shingles. The rash takes about 2-3 days to set in and increases during the next 5 days, forming blisters that break and create dry, crusty ulcers. The crusts eventually fall off in the next 2-3 weeks, leaving you with pink, healing skin.
Shingles usually heal on their own once they run their course, so you may not need treatment. You may need symptomatic relief, such as pain medication. We can prescribe antiviral medications that will shorten the course, reduce pain, reduce complications, or offer protection for a weak immune system.