Nobody wants to have the shingles, but it's an unfortunate truth that once you develop it, you're likely to get outbreaks from time to time. If you've been seen by a general practitioner for your shingles in the past or are at risk for getting shingles, chances are you'll be sent to a dermatologist for care for it. Here's what you can expect from the experience.
The first thing that your dermatologist will do is thoroughly examine the outbreak. Keep in mind that you may be contagious to those who haven't had the chicken pox, so your dermatologist may take special measures to protect themselves and other patients.
This examination will help your dermatologist to determine if the rash, ulcer, or wound is due to shingles. They may take a tissue sample at this point if they need confirmation. However, in most cases, dermatologists can tell by looking at a shingles outbreak.
There's no cure for shingles, and since it's a viral condition, antibiotics can't help to beat it. However, your dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics to you anyway.
While this is done on a case-by-case basis, your dermatologist may give you antibiotics to help prevent a secondary infection. This is because shingles outbreaks often cause the skin to open up with wounds or ulcers, which can become infested with bacteria and infected. Antibiotics help the body to kill off any invading bacteria before they can become a significant threat.
Finally, your dermatologist will take steps to help you feel more comfortable and to speed up the healing process.
One of the things they'll likely do is provide you with a topical numbing product to help reduce the discomfort you may be experiencing.
Secondly, they may recommend a steroid injection or pill. Steroids are sometimes used with shingles to help bring down the inflammation, which contributes to the pain you experience. The type of steroids and form it's given in will depend upon your personal condition and what your dermatologist thinks is best for you.
With these two treatments, you'll be sent home to recover. You can ask for a doctor's note if you need one. You'll likely be given instructions on how to care for your wounds at home, including cleaning and bandaging them while they're healing. Make sure to follow your dermatologist's directions explicitly.
Shingles is a devastating condition that can be extremely painful to deal with. If you're having a problem with shingles, get yourself to a dermatology clinic for the treatment you need.