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.
Give your skin the TLC it needs while still enjoying your pool days.
If the swimming pool is a second home to you, then you may definitely label yourself a swimmer. Swimming is a wonderful and refreshing workout that can help us lose weight, maximize muscle and strengthen our core; however, whether you choose to swim in a chlorinated pool or natural water, all that time in the water can certainly take its toll on your skin. It’s important to know just how to care for your skin the next time you jump into the pool for your refreshing workout.
Shower Right Away
This is the most important rule you can follow after you take a dip in the pool. You need to wash the irritants of the pool or water from your body using warm water and soap. Chlorine found in the majority of pools sticks to your skin and can cause rashes and other skin problems. To minimize irritation, you will want to jump into a shower right away.
The same goes for those who swim in the ocean or lake. Saltwater, algae and bacteria from natural bodies of water can cause redness, rashes, and other irritation.
Wash Your Bathing Suit
Besides just washing your body, you’ll also want to wash your bathing suit with soap to remove any possible contaminants from the pool or seawater. Don’t wear the same bathing suit twice unless the suit has been thoroughly washed and is completely dry.
Apply a Moisturizer
The chlorine in pools is meant to kill bacteria to prevent infection; however, these pool chemicals can also dry out your skin. To combat this, we highly recommend using a thick, creambased moisturizer after your shower to keep dryness away. Most swimmers can get away with using an overthecounter moisturizer from their local drugstore; however, talk to your dermatologist if you need a stronger moisturizer to take on your pool dryness.
Sure you just spend a lot of time in the water, but how much water are you actually consuming each day? Working out alone takes water out of our bodies, so it’s important to replenish as much as possible. Furthermore, drinking water is a great purifier for our skin and it keeps our skin moist. Drinking more water will also help flush out pool toxins and keep you hydrated.
To learn more about how to take care of your skin, call your dermatologist today!
Chapped skin can happen at any time of the year, from the warmest climate to the coldest. Whether it’s harsh chemical soaps, cold temperatures, or overexposure to the sun, chapped hands are painful and inconvenient in any season.
What is to blame for this nasty problem? Unfortunately it has to do with a loss of moisture. Just washing your hands multiple times throughout the day can cause hands to peel and bleed. However, once you recognize your issue, then you can do something about it. Find out the best ways to care for your chapped hands to prevent this issue in the future.
If you want your skin to return to its once supple state, then you’re going to want to put back the moisture that you’ve robbed your skin of. Sadly, just drinking water just won’t cut it, although it is helpful. You must apply a moisturizer directly to your skin to combat this problem.
The best way to prevent chapped hands is to start a moisturizing regime even before your hands start to feel dry. This way it’s already a normal habit in your daily routine, and you can keep your hands from drying out.
Some people are dealing with such deep cracks and bleeding that a light moisturizer isn’t going to do the trick. In this case, using a thicker product can be very effective, such as petroleum jelly or a rich moisturizer that contains cocoa butter or beeswax as an ingredient. For an even deeper moisturizing experience, trying putting this product on at night, and then wearing cotton gloves to bed.
It’s vital to wash our hands, and no one is recommending giving up this healthy habit. It can, however, wreak havoc on your hands! It’s important to follow these steps when washing:
- Use a mild soap
- Avoid using hot water
- Pat rather than rub your skin dry
- Apply a moisturizer right away
While handwashing can be drying, hand sanitizer gels are even harsher on your skin. Try to avoid their use unless absolutely necessary, opting instead for a gentle wash.
If you are dealing with severely chapped hands and you can’t seem to find relief from your symptoms, then it might be time to see your dermatologist for treatment. Call us today!
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