Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Mom Needs Help for Shingles

Friday, 30 Mar 2012 08:17 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Question: What is the best treatment for long-term shingles. My mother is 88 and has suffered with this condition for many years. She seems to do better and then it returns with a vengeance. She has taken Valtrex, but it doesn’t always work.

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of the torso. Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. For years, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles. There's no cure for shingles, but prompt treatment with prescription antiviral drugs can speed healing and reduce risk of complications. Valtrex is one such drug. Sometimes, the pain can be very severe, so her doctor may prescribe anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin, tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, and numbing agents, such as lidocaine, delivered via a cream, gel, spray or skin patch, or even medications that contain narcotics, such as codeine. It’s best to take a cool bath or apply cold compress on blisters during an attack.
I also recommend a one-time shingles vaccination to all victims of shingles as well as for all adults over the age of 60 unless contraindications exist. The herpes zoster vaccination (Zostavax) will help prevent recurrent shingles episodes.

© HealthDay

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Ask Dr. Hibbert a question
Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Find Your Condition
You May Also Like
Around the Web
Most Commented

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAXHEALTH.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved