Shingles - Topic Overview

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How is shingles treated?

Shingles is treated with medicines. These medicines include antiviral medicines and medicines for pain.

Starting antiviral medicine right away can help your rash heal faster and be less painful. So if you think you may have shingles, see your doctor right away.

Good home care also can help you feel better faster. Take care of any skin sores, and keep them clean. Take your medicines as directed. If you are bothered by pain, tell your doctor. He or she may write a prescription for pain medicine or suggest an over-the-counter pain medicine.

Who gets shingles?

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. You have a greater chance of getting shingles if you are older than 50 or if you have a weak immune system.

There is a shingles vaccine for adults. It lowers your chances of getting shingles and prevents long-term pain that can occur after shingles. And if you do get shingles, having the vaccine makes it more likely that you will have less pain and your rash will clear up more quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about shingles:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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