What is Shingles?
Shingles is a skin condition that represents itself as an itchy, painful skin rash that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Dr. Renee Snyder and her team of Austin, TX board-certified dermatologists treat shingles, which can appear anywhere on the body. In most instances, shingles appear on the torso or on the side of the face as a line of blisters. While it is more common for older adults to develop shingles, it can also affect teens and younger adults. Most patients who have a bout with shingles will improve and not experience the condition again. However, in some patients it can return. Researchers believe that shingles are caused by a weakened immune system or a disruption within the nervous system. Our skilled and knowledgeable dermatologists are able to effectively treat shingles and decrease the risk from it reoccurring.
What Causes Shingles?
Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles because after a patient recovers from chickenpox, the virus may enter the nervous system and lie dormant for years. A weakened immune system caused by stress, disease or overall aging can put a patient at risk for shingles. It’s not entirely clear why the virus is reactivated but only shingles can develop and not chickenpox. There’s also a small chance that a patient with a shingles rash can spread the virus to a person who’s either never had chickenpox or never received the chickenpox vaccine.
"I went in for a consultation for a scar I had from a procedure done last year. First off, the office is gorgeous with beautiful art pieces adorning the walls and a wonderful group of staff members that greet you with a warm welcome. I met with Dr. Foley who was kind and attentive as I told her about my nightmarish experience that I had at a med spa in California where I formerly resided. She listened to my concerns and recommended that I start with micro-needling to diminish the appearance of the scarring. This is when I was introduced to the esthetician Robin who was beyond outstanding and patient as she explained in detail each procedure and went over the cost details. I felt so comfortable that I decided to get my first micro-needling session with her on the very same day. I am so glad that I did because she was so gentle and checked in with me during the whole process to assure that I wasn’t uncomfortable or feeling any pain. Honestly, I felt that the micro-needling experience was quite pleasant and therapeutic in the hands and expertise of Robin. Thank you again Synder dermatology for a wonderful first time experience."- A.C. / Yelp / Apr 06, 2022
"I am so grateful to have found this office and the best Dermatologist. I see Dr Elizabeth Foley for my Rosacea. I had been through 3 different Dermatologist who had pretty much given up on me. I was determined to find someone that would help me look myself again.Dr Foley is an amazing doctor. Her bedside manner, the best. I finally felt like someone was listening and understood what I was going through. I can’t thank her enough. I highly recommend her to any/everyone."- R.C. / Yelp / Feb 17, 2022
"Visited their central Austin location. Very pleased with the treatment I received there and their wide range of services. Dr. Parker was very informative and made my experience pleasant."- G.L. / Yelp / Feb 08, 2022
"I can say that I’ve never been more happy to write a review as I type this!This is based on my recent experience with Dr. Foley for a dermatology appointment for skin & hair. Dr. Foley did 3 things well: Solutions-oriented, Education, & Bedside Manner.Solutions-oriented - I went to a previous "specialist" to get my hair and skin issue resolved. She prescribed me a bacterial medicine and said "There’s nothing we can do." I used the medicine for 3 months with no incremental impact. I decided to go with a second opinion and go to Dr. Foley. She assessed me and quickly came up with 4 solutions for my issues (injections, shampoo, gel, and pill) with the narrative "I like to attack the issue aggressively. And guess what? Dr. Foley’s solutions are working!!Education - Dr. Foley walked me through the science of my issues and how each of her 4 solutions would help resolve the issues. I enjoy knowing HOW things work and Dr. Foley’s expertise in dermatology was very clear - not to mention her ability to simplify her education into lay terms so you understand. When I shared my specialist experience, she said "You don’t have a bacterial issue. That diagnosis was wrong and I’m sorry that person led you in the wrong direction." This is the benefit of getting a second opinion of a true subject matter expert like Dr. Foley.Bedside Manner - First off, Dr. Foley is hilarious! If you like jokes/natural humor, it’s an added plus of seeing her. Throughout the injections, she was extremely patient and continued to check-in - which demonstrated an awareness to the patient experience (vs a simple doctoral transaction). Dr. Foley has me scheduled to come back next month to check on the impact of her recommendations. Not only am I going to be happy to show her the progress, I’m excited to laugh with her. Dr. Foley: Thank you for not only being good at what you do and helping to resolve my issues, but giving me hope again :)"- B.S. / Yelp / Jan 28, 2022
"I had my first appointment today, and it was a great first experience! I was seen on time, the appointment was upbeat and fun (which I didn’t expect), and I was out the door in no time. Dr. Foley and the staff were amazing. Glad that I decided to finally do something about my skin!"- R.L. / Yelp / Oct 04, 2021
Symptoms of Shingles
The symptoms of shingles are usually only noticeable on a small section of one side of the body. The most common symptoms are pain, tingling, numbness, itching or burning, and/or a red rash. These symptoms usually appear a few days after the patient first experiences pain. Other symptoms include sensitivity to touch and fluid-filled blisters that can break open and crust over, as well as fatigue, sensitivity to light, fever or a headache. Some patients may feel as if they have the flu. Those who have shingles usually find that their symptoms arrive in stages, with pain occurring first, and then visible skin-related symptoms.
How to Treat Shingles
While there’s no cure for shingles, there are a number of antiviral drugs that can provide relief, clear up symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. Common medications include: Valtrex®Famvir® and Zovirax®. Since shingles can be so painful, a doctor may prescribe a numbing agent in the form of a gel, cream, skin patch or spray. A pain relief cream such as capsaicin cream can be applied to the shingles rash to reduce pain. Prescription-strength painkillers can also be prescribed. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe an anti-depressant to help a patient cope with the pain and symptoms and decrease the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, this is persistent pain in the area after the shingles rash has healed.
Plan Your Procedure
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Schedule a Consult Today!
If you have experienced any of the painful or visible symptoms associated with shingles, please call our dermatology office today to schedule an appointment for a thorough examination. Our team of highly trained medical professionals will be able to evaluate your symptoms, provide a proper diagnosis, and get you started with the proper treatment protocol.