Shingle Pain in Stamford & Greenwich, CT

Dr. Amy O'Donnell diagnoses and treats shingle pain, utilizing MLS laser therapy

Shingles in Stamford, CTShingles is a painful skin rash caused by the chicken pox virus, varicella zoster. Shingles usually appears in a single band or line on one side of the body, along a nerve root. It is also called herpes zoster.

What causes shingles?

Shingles occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox is activated in your body. If you have had chickenpox, then the virus lays dormant in your body in an area close to your nerve roots, right outside the spinal cord. In some people, the virus sleeps and never wakes up. In older adults, either stress, a weakened immune system or certain medications can trigger it into a full blown case of shingles. It is not clear why these events do so, but once the virus is activated, you can only get shingles and not chickenpox. You can not catch shingles from someone who has shingles. However, if you have not had the chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, there is a chance the virus can be spread to you.

What are the symptoms?

Shingles symptoms may begin with a headache or light sensitivity, or flu like symptoms, without the fever.

Soon after, you may feel itching, tingling or a burning pain on one side of your body. A rash begins to form in a line or band, running along a nerve root over a few days. The rash then turns into little blisters which fill up with fluid and later crust over. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for the blisters to heal and they leave scars. In some cases, only a mild rash appears and rarely, no rash at all. In those cases, it may be difficult to diagnose.

In many cases, you may feel weak or dizzy. Post herpetic neuralgia (phn) occurs and can cause long term severe pain when the rash heals. It has been said that there is no pain like shingles pain as it feels like your skin is on fire.

How is shingles treated?

The key to successful treatment is early diagnosis. If treated within 48 hours with medication, you lower the risk of long term pain and a quicker recovery. If not, then the pain may stay with you for years.

MLS Laser Therapy in Stamford, CTMLS laser therapy is a revolutionary treatment for treating the shingles rash and pain. It has the capability of healing the rash in a few days rather than weeks and eliminating the pain associated with shingles, reducing the possibility of chronic pain and disability. Unlike any other laser in the world, MLS laser is the only laser of its type known to affect the shingles virus and shorten its life, allowing the patient pain relief quickly.