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.
Get the firmer skin you want without ever having to turn to surgery.
It’s just a fact of life that as we age our skin begins to sag. This is because our bodies aren’t producing as much collagen, which is integral in keeping skin supple and firm. So if you are noticing loose skin around the chin, neck or brows, you may be wondering if there is a non-invasive treatment out there that our San Antonio, TX, dermatologists Dr. Rebecca Kelso and Dr. Emily Fridlington can provide you.
What is Ultherapy?
This FDA-cleared, non-surgical cosmetic treatment uses special ultrasound technology to help target and tighten loose skin while also reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the face and neck. What makes this treatment appealing is that there is no need for incisions or invasive cosmetic techniques, which also means that there will be no scarring.
How does Ultherapy work?
This high-intensity focused ultrasound technology is directed over the skin to target deeper layers of tissue in the face and neck. By administering the perfect amount of energy we can stimulate and restructure the production of collagen and elastin, which keeps skin supple and firm. As a result of this natural lifting and skin tightening, you will also notice that certain lines and wrinkles are also smoothed away by this treatment.
How many treatment sessions will I need to undergo?
With Ultherapy, often just one treatment session is all you need to see firmer results; however, this will depend on the looseness of your skin. During your consultation process, we will be able to tell you whether one treatment is all you need or whether you may benefit from more than one session.
Is there a recovery period?
With cosmetic surgery, there is often extensive downtime and patients have to take weeks off of work. Our San Antonio, TX, cosmetic dermatologists understand this isn’t always a possibility for some of our patients; fortunately, one wonderful benefit of Ultherapy is that there is no recovery period or downtime associated with this non-surgical treatment. This means that you can go right back to work or your daily activities immediately after.
When will I see results?
Since it takes time for the body to produce collagen and elastin, it may take about 2-3 months for these two naturally occurring substances to work their magic to tighten and firm up the chin, brow line, neck or chest. It’s important to understand that these results are not comparable to a facelift; however, for those patients looking for a non-invasive and non-surgical solution to targeting sagging skin, Ultherapy could just be a great alternative treatment to meet your cosmetic goals.
Here at Alamo Heights Dermatology, the health of your skin is our top priority. If you are someone in San Antonio, TX, who is looking to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and refresh your skin then call our office today to schedule a consultation to find out whether Ultherapy could be right for you.
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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