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Shingles: Debunking Myths and Unveiling Facts

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Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a medical condition that can cause significant discomfort and confusion. At MJR Dermatology, under the expert guidance of Dr. Matthew J. Reschly, we believe in empowering our patients with accurate information. In this blog, we aim to debunk prevalent myths and present the facts about shingles, enhancing your understanding and ability to manage this condition effectively.

Myth 1: Shingles is a Rare Condition

Fact: Shingles is not as rare as many believe. In the United States alone, nearly one in three people will develop shingles in their lifetime. It’s more common in individuals over 50 and those with weakened immune systems.

Myth 2: Shingles is Just a Skin Rash

Fact: While shingles primarily present as a painful rash, it’s much more than a skin issue. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. This reactivation affects nerve fibers, leading to pain, tingling, or itching before the rash appears. The rash typically presents as a strip of blisters on one side of the body or face.

Myth 3: Only Older Adults Get Shingles

Fact: It’s true that shingles are more common in older adults, particularly those over 50. However, anyone who has had chickenpox, regardless of their age, can develop shingles. Factors such as stress, certain medications, and a weakened immune system can trigger the onset of shingles in younger individuals as well.

Myth 4: Shingles is Highly Contagious

Fact: Shingles itself is not contagious. However, the virus that causes shingles can be spread to a person who hasn’t had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine. This transmission can only occur through direct contact with the fluid from the shingles rash blisters, not through sneezing or casual conversation.

Myth 5: There’s No Way to Prevent Shingles

Fact: Vaccination is an effective way to reduce the risk of developing shingles. The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine for people aged 50 and older, even if they’ve had shingles before. The vaccine can also reduce the severity and duration of the disease if you do get shingles.

Myth 6: Shingles is Not Serious and Requires No Medical Intervention

Fact: Shingles can lead to serious complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a condition where the pain from shingles lasts long after the rash has cleared. Other complications include vision loss, neurological problems, and skin infections. It’s essential to seek medical advice if you suspect you have shingles.

Treatment and Management at MJR Dermatology

At MJR Dermatology, we offer comprehensive treatment plans tailored to each patient’s needs. Treatment options may include antiviral medications, pain relievers, and nerve block injections, among others. We also provide education on skin care during a shingles outbreak and strategies to manage pain and discomfort.

Understanding shingles is the first step toward effective management and treatment. If you suspect you have shingles or have questions about the condition, don’t hesitate to contact MJR Dermatology. Dr. Reschly and our team are committed to providing the highest level of care and support to our patients. Remember, knowledge is power, especially when it comes to managing your health.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact MJR Dermatology. Let us be your partner in navigating and managing shingles with the utmost care and expertise.

Posted on behalf of Matthew J. Reschly, M.D., PC

2000 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 100
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Located on the lower Courtyard Level

Phone: (678) 535-0067

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Matthew J. Reschly, M.D., PC


2000 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 100
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Located on the lower Courtyard Level

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