How to Prepare for Your Dermatologist Appointment

From treating blemishes to diagnosing skin, a good dermatologist can help you pinpoint the underlying cause of your issues. Scheduling your next visit is just a phone call or email away, but prepping for your appointment is key.

Make a List
Before your visit, make a list of your concerns. It not only guarantees a smoother and more time-efficient appointment, it also allows your doctor to come up with a more accurate diagnosis. Make a detailed list highlighting your family history, medications you take and your overall skin concerns. Providing information on any past dermatologist visits can also be extremely helpful. This can help your new dermatologist understand any treatment plans you may have had in the past.

Bring Photos
Bringing some photographs of a sporadic skin condition when it flares can be a great help to illustrate to your dermatologist the skin condition you’re concerned about. Photos are also great resource to assure a more productive cosmetic procedure appointment. Photos of yourself at a younger age for example, can help illustrate exactly what you’re looking for.

Have Realistic Expectations
Being patient and realistic about your treatment plan is a good place to start you visit your dermatologist. It often takes time for your skin to become acclimated with new medications and treatments, so don’t expect instant or overnight final results. It usually takes weeks for some new medications to show their full effectiveness..

Wear Loose Clothing
Often times, patients wear tight and complicated clothing, making it difficult for your dermatologist to perform an examination. Comfort aside, wearing loose clothing makes examinations much easier to perform and garments easier to remove when swapping for an exam gown.

Don’t Wear Makeup
You may rely on some foundation and concealer to get you through the day, but when visiting your dermatologist, it’s a good idea to pass on the makeup. Your physician is definitely going to want to get a closer look at your skin, so going in sans makeup can help your dermatologist better identify your condition.

Remove Your Nail Polish
Dermatologists treat a wide variety of skin conditions and pay close attention to the health of your nails, especially because some skin cancers tend to form on your nail beds. It’s wise to remove your nail polish to prepare for your appointment. Nail fungus can sometimes be the cause of body rashes. Additionally, moles can develop under the nails, and those moles tend to be more aggressive.

Never Book Treatments On The Same Day Of An Event
Some procedures like peels, laser treatments and injectables can leave your skin looking inflamed and irritated. Book your appointment a week in advance of any scheduled event you may have (party, date, work presentation, etc) to ensure your skin looks its very best. With adequate recovery time, you’ll look your best and not have to worry about a bruised appearance.

Preparing for Winter Starts NOW!

The change of seasons always puts stress on the skin. The calendar has just turned to November, but our skin can soon be a casualty of the yo-yo temperature changes.

Cold and chafing winds, as well as stagnant indoor air, can leave skin parched because it tends to lack natural moisture. And the stress of the holidays, including eating and drinking to extremes, only adds to skin challenges.

Don’t despair. You don’t have to surrender to all of winter’s indignities. Here’s an arsenal of simple advice to help us prepare our skin for winter’s assault:

1. Wear gloves
Most people wait until temperatures turn frigid before donning gloves. Consider wearing them starting now.  That’s because even minor skin chapping on the hands can turn into fissures that become course and sometimes infected. The same is true for lips, which should always be covered with lip balm when venturing outdoors.

2. Switch from lotion to cream
When you switch your seasonal wardrobes, it’s a good idea to do the same with your skin emollient. Use creams, which are typically more moisturizing, instead of lotions, which don’t provide as strong an oily barrier to reduce water loss in the skin. Creams feel a bit heavier on the skin but they do a much better job at protecting against temperature and humidity extremes. It’s definitely good to put it on at night.

3. Take shorter showers
Ironically, the very things that make us feel good in the moment, such as long, hot showers or baths, can leave our skin crying out for moisture over the longer-term. Opt for shorter, more lukewarm baths and showers and pat your skin dry afterward. Follow up quickly with a layer of moisturizer from head to toe. Also, try shower gel instead of soap for extra skin enrichment.

4. Celebrate in moderation
Winter brings a bevy of holidays that can be fun to celebrate, but between all of the alcohol, rich foods, and deprived sleep your skin can pay a price. Seasonal stress can also bring on certain skin ills, such as acne or cold sores. Cutting back on simple sugars and carbohydrates, which are plentiful in fast foods or processed foods, is another measure we can take to avoid breakouts when a stressful situation (such as Thanksgiving dinner with 10 of your least favorite relatives) looms. In general, stress can make any skin problem a little worse. It’s not the reason you break out per se, but it’s one of the factors.

5. Don’t skip sunscreen
This is our mantra. Though we’re less exposed to sun in winter, that doesn’t mean we can stop protecting ourselves from its rays altogether. Some skin creams have sunscreen built in, but make sure yours carries an SPF rating of 30 or higher, whether you spend most of your time indoors or are one of those adventurers hitting the slopes.

Get Your “Beauty Sleep”

When it comes to your beauty routine, sleep may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. Your body repairs itself and recovers while you snooze, and that leads to a long list of benefits for your looks. The key is to get enough shut-eye. That means 7 to 9 quality hours each night.

According to sleep specialists, if you’re getting fewer than 6 hours, it’s likely affecting your appearance. The more hours you can add, the better you will look. The say “When you snooze you LOSE.” However, when it comes to your complexion and facial appearance, “When you snooze, you can actually WIN.”

Here are our 5 beauty benefits of getting enough sleep.

1. Fewer Wrinkles
Skin makes new collagen when you sleep, which prevents sagging. More collagen means skin is plumper and less likely to wrinkle. Getting only 5 hours a night can lead to twice as many fine lines as sleeping 7 or 8 would. It also leaves skin drier, which can make lines more visible.

2. A Glowing Complexion
Your body boosts blood flow to the skin while you snooze, which means you wake to a healthy glow. Skimp on sleep and your complexion can look drab, ashen, or lifeless.Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin surrounding your face, making it become dull and causing you to lose those rosy cheeks.

3. Less Puffy Eyes
Chances are, you’ve had dark circles or bags under your eyes after a night of too few Zzz’s. Puffy eyes are one of the first things we see when we don’t sleep. Staying well-hydrated can help reduce swelling. Plenty of rest can also minimize dark circles. When blood isn’t flowing well, which happens when you’re low on sleep, it can collect under your eyes and become visible, since the skin there is so thin.

5. Happier, Healthier Appearance
Too little sleep can cause the corners of your mouth to droop, making you look sadder than you do after a good night’s rest. Red, swollen eyes, dark circles, sagging eyelids, and paler skin can also signal to others that you’re exhausted. People who don’t get enough rest are also seen as less healthy than when they’re rested.

6. Products Work Better
Your skin can focus on repairing itself while you sleep, since it isn’t defending itself from sun and a harsh environment. Blood flow is also more consistent, helping your skin benefit from the repairing ingredients in your beauty products. Skin also loses more water when you sleep than it does during the day. Applying a creamier moisturizer before bed and drinking plenty of water during the day will help your complexion stay hydrated overnight.

Fall Skin Care Tips

It’s that time of year again! No, not shopping for back-to-school clothes and supplies. We mean changing up your skin care routine to reflect the new season—fall! Your skin’s needs vary with the seasons and to keep your complexion in tip-top shape, here are six smart things to do:

1. Slough it off
Most likely, your skin has been exposed to the sun’s wrath this summer. Days at the beach and picnics in the park are good times but not necessarily good for your skin. Additionally, the build up of sunscreen on your face may have clogged your pores leaving your skin dull and a little rough around the edges. To reveal a brighter complexion, twice a week (don’t go overboard) slough off some of the dead skin with an exfoliating scrub. Another option is to treat yourself and your complexion to a professional facial or deep-cleansing Hydrafacial at our Rejuvaderm MediSpa.

2. Kinder Cleansers
With the summer heat, you may have found your skin to be oilier than usual so using a deeper-cleansing face wash was appropriate. As the heat subsides and autumn arrives, you’ll need to start cleansing with gentler solution that removes dirt but doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils.

3. Mega Moisturizers
Lightweight was the name of the game in summer. But with the dryness of fall, you will need to slather up with something a little more heavy duty. If your skin still feels too oily wearing a night cream at bedtime, then only apply in dry areas. Don’t forget sunscreen during the day as the sun’s rays still penetrate through the clouds.

4. Mask it
Facial masks are a great way to treat your skin and give yourself a mini facial in a matter of minutes! Facial Masks have its roots in exotic locales renowned for their rich concoctions of fresh herb, fruit, and flower extracts. Most masks today usually contain ingredients that add moisture and hydration back into the skin – clay, aloe vera, algae, essential oils, seaweed and vitamins—that were depleted in the summer’s heat.

5. Eyes Cream, You Scream
Your eyes can’t keep a secret. Although they are the windows to the soul, they are also the first to show signs of stress and aging. A richer eye cream for fall can help combat some of the signs of too much summer fun—puffiness, dark circles, sun damage—while also help prevent a cold weather culprit—dryness. Look for eye creams that target your specific concerns.

6. Get Your Mist on
A hydrating mist is one of summer’s beauty essentials that easily translates from the heat of summer to the cold of winter. Using a hydrating mist is great for refreshing the skin, protecting it from the elements and setting your makeup. Applying the hydrating mist throughout the day adds an intense moisture boost and nourishes the skin with aloe vera, Vitamin C, and shea butter, to name a just few popular ingredients.

Beat Summer Heat Problems

With all of our beautiful South County and Newport beaches, local ponds, tropical drinks and warm weather, it’s hard to hate summer. However, what we don’t love are the skin problems that arise due to warm weather and spending our days outdoors.

Here are some of the more common problems you may face with solutions that will have you happily sipping that lemonade on the beach.

1.         Clogged Pores. Whether you’ve got oily skin year-round or you only suffer during the summer, blazing hot and humid temperatures can cause your skin to overheat, resulting in an over-production of oil.

Solution: Stock up on oil-free cleanser, oil-blotting sheets and a matte foundation or BB cream, depending on which you prefer. Stay in air-conditioned areas or rooms with fans during the summer to minimize your body’s production of excess oil. When choosing a  moisturizer, look for “non-comedogenic” on the label, which basically means “won’t clog pores.”

2.         Breakouts. If the oil your skin is over-producing is left on your face for too long, it can cause some major breakouts. Plus, if you’re using brushes or sponges to apply makeup but you’re not cleaning them regularly, you’re simply swirling around a cocktail of liquid foundation, powder and oil, leaving your skin with no choice but to break out.

Solution: Make sure to regularly cleaning keeping your brushes, sponges, and any other tools you use on your face. If you suffer from acne, use an acne-treatment cleanser with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to treat it. Make sure you’re patting your face dry with a clean towel (different than the one you use to dry your hands, which can have bacteria on it).

3.         Heat Rash. When spending lots of time outside in direct sunlight, the heat may be too much for your body to take. This has essentially nothing to do with whether or not you’re wearing SPF, this is simply your body overheating and resulting in tiny bumps and red skin. The likelihood of getting heat rash is upped when you’re active outdoors. If you’re exercising outdoors while it’s hot outside, your body heat and the sun’s heat can come together for a not-so-fun time.

Solution: Cool down the area where you’re experiencing heat rash with a cool, wet towel, allowing the area to air-dry afterwards. A cool shower for about 20 minutes or so can also provide relief. If you try these options and you’re still uncomfortable, cortisone cream can help. Avoid wearing rough or tight fabrics around the area, and stay away from fragranced soaps and lotions as they can irritate skin.

4.         Sunburn. Even if you’re diligent in applying and re-applying sunscreen, sunburn can happen. You may miss a spot, fall asleep on the beach, or forget to reapply, but whatever the cause, it’s likely you may have to treat a sunburn during the summer.

Solution: If things are really bad, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like aspirin. Then, take a gentle and cool shower, gently patting dry (or air drying, depending how badly you’ve been burned). Applying aloe vera lotion or gel can help soothe and cool burned areas, and drinking lots of water to avoid dehydration is key. If you need to be out in the sun while you’re still burned, be sure to wear clothing that covers up the burned area.

5.         Bikini Line Rash. Considering the skin down there is incredibly sensitive, it’s simpler to have irritation than it is to not. Razor burn can cause bumps, which are only exacerbated when you’re at the beach getting sand and salt water on your body. Waxing can leave skin open and susceptible to irritation, too.

Solution: If you shave your bikini line, try waiting longer periods of time in between shaves to give your skin a break. Be sure you’re using a clean razor and avoid the urge to scratch anywhere down there. Your fingernails contain bacteria, which can lead to infections. If you wax, give it a day or two before heading for the shore. Laser hair removal is a more permanent solution – best done in the Fall or Winter as you get ready for Summer.

6.         Bug Bites. If you’re outside during the summer, chances are that bugs are biting and you could be itching like crazy.

Solution: Get a proven insect repellent to avoid the bites altogether. Choose one with DEET but do NOT spray directly on the skin (spray on shoes, hats, seams of clothes). Do NOT use topical Benadryl as that can cause an allergic contact dermatitis. If you do get bit, use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or a cold compress to soothe your skin. For swelling, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory. To reduce itching, mix baking soda with water to create a paste, and apply to the bitten areas.

A History and Today’s Options for Unwanted Hair Removal

One of the most popular beauty services today is also one with perhaps the most storied past.

 

The Egyptians may have been the forerunners of many beauty rituals, but they invested the most time into hair removal. Women of ancient Egypt removed all of their body hair, including that on their heads, with tweezers (made from seashells), pumice stones, or early beeswax and sugar-based waxes.

 

During the Roman Empire, the lack of body hair was considered a sign of the classes. Wealthy women and men used razors made from flints, tweezers, creams, and stones to remove excess hair. In fact, even pubic hair was considered uncivilized which is why many famous statues and paintings of Grecian women are depicted hairless.

Just like Cleopatra was a trendsetter in her time, so too was Queen Elizabeth 1 during the Middle Ages. She set the precedence for hair removal amongst women, who followed her lead by removing it from their faces, but not their bodies. The fashion of this era was to remove eyebrows and hair from the forehead (to make it appear larger), which women did by using walnut oil, or bandages soaked in ammonia (which they got from their feline pets) and vinegar.

The late 18th century ushered in a more civilized approach to hair removal. While European and American women didn’t take too much consideration into it, Jean Jacques Perret, a French barber, created the first straight razor for men in 1760, which was used by some women.

By 1844, one of the first depilatory creams, called Poudre Subtile, was developed. Soon after, in 1880, King Camp Gillette created the first modern day razor for men and thus a revolution was born. However, it would be another three decades before a razor specifically marketed for women would appear.

In 1915, Gillette created the first razor specifically for women, the Milady Decolletée. The early 1900’s also saw ads for depilatory cream hit the masses. In 1907 an ad for X-Bazin Depilatory Powder began circulating, promising to remove ‘humiliating growth of hair on the face, neck, and arms’. A decade later, a leading women’s fashion magazine ran an ad featuring a woman with her arms raised and her armpits bare, the first of it’s kind.

Remington released the first electric women’s razor in 1940 after the success of a male version. Due to a war time shortage of nylon, more products and techniques for hair removal hit the market as women were forced to go bare legged more often.

During the 1950s, hair removal became more publically accepted. Since many depilatory creams were still irritating to the skin, women relied on razors to shave their legs and underarms and tweezers to groom and shape their eyebrows.

Wax strips made their début in the 1960s and quickly became the method of choice for removing unwanted hair under the arms and on legs. The first laser hair removal method hit the market in the mid-sixties, but it wasn’t until recently that the process was perfected with safer and ever-advancing technologies in the hands of trained professionals.

Although electrolysis had been around for nearly a century, it became more reliable and safe in the 1970s with the development of transistorized equipment. The decade also saw a resurgence in the removal of bikini area hair as the swimsuit fad of the 1960s stuck around.

Today, most women rely on some form of hair removal in their everyday beauty routines, whether it’s tweezing, shaving, waxing, laser, or depilatory. Improvements in time-honored procedures like waxing and new technologies like lasers continue to make hair removal one of the most popular beauty services available.

Our Rejuvaderm MediSpa offers both advanced laser and wax hair removal services. Stop in or make an appointment for a no-obligation assessment on what’s best for you.

Summer Skincare Recommendations for Teen Acne

Summer can be a minefield for acne-prone tweens and teens. Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Our skin needs it in order to function, but too much of it can lead to acne, and an overly oily complexion.

Sebum production is more pronounced in the summer and fall. Increased sebum production, brought on by heat and humidity, can increase the growth conditions for skin bacteria. This all adds up to a need for adjustments in acne regimes in summer months.

Tip 1: If skin feels oily, use a foaming cleanser.

In general, bar soaps and foaming cleansers are better at removing sebum and are good choices for oily skin. Sensitive skin types should still use liquid cleansers formulated for sensitive skin. Be sure not to irritate the skin by scrubbing too hard or over-cleansing.

Tip 2: Choose non-greasy moisturizers and sunscreen.

Sunscreens and moisturizers are important for photoprotection and barrier maintenance. Oily complexion products are generally composed of water and dimethicone or cyclomethicone, which are noncomedogenic, hypoallergenic, and non-greasy, providing
the basis for “oil‐free” moisturizers. Gel or lotion formulations have less oil and will be better choices for oily skin.

Tip 3: Choose your facial care products carefully.

There are many over-the-counter products luring you in with the promise of a beautiful porcelain complexion – toners, masks, pore strips, to name a few. If you or a loved one are acne-prone, a good rule of thumb is to ask us if a certain product is good for you. Like advanced treatments, new and improved products formulated for clearer skin are on the market and can help. We offer many of them in our office, so please be sure to ask.

Tips on Dealing with “Spring Skin”

The thought of Spring can leave some less fortunate individuals with a dreaded promise of an ensuing runny nose; red, puffy eyes and itchy, sensitive skin.

In Spring, the skin is exposed to invisible airborne allergens, such as pollen, which in some individuals can lead to the release of histamine, a neurotransmitter that dilates blood vessels and leads to inflammation. Higher levels of histamine can lead to the skin being more reactive and can even trigger eczema and allergies. The most readily effected areas for this to occur on the face are on the cheek and the skin surrounding the eye.

Due to climate change and the weather we’ve been experiencing lately, experts are predicting a worse-than-average spring allergy season and expect the situation to escalate as time goes on. The reason being that concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have risen, which increases the release of allergen levels such as pollen and types of fungal growth, such as mold, and the spores they release.

Here are a few handy tips that we can provide as part of a prevention plan:

Reduce Stress Levels
Stress has been found to actually make your response to allergens worse. A short 15-minute back massage can actually be an anti-inflammatory skin treatment.

Change Up Your Routine
If you tend to be someone who suffers from seasonal allergies or experiences some of the symptoms of “Spring Skin” then you may want to consider a Spring skin care program that can actively target skin inflammation, puffiness and irritation while repairing the barrier function of the skin.

Products to look for in your “Spring Skin Care” program should be those proven to have natural anti-irritant and anti-redness properties. The delicate eye area is often the first to show signs of irritation, so try using a lightweight, gel-based eye cream formulated to limit inflammatory mediators, thereby significantly reducing eye puffiness, redness and attendant itchiness.

RI Skin Doc recommends TriXera, a lightweight, nourishing formula that provides 48-hour hydration to nourish and protect dry, sensitive skin. For longlasting moisturizing and protection, we also offer Theraplex Emollient, especially formulated to treat severely dry, cracked skin (including hands, feet, elbows and knees) and chronic skin conditions.

Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
Many may not be aware that there is naturally occurring histamine in alcohol, which is made during the fermentation process. Wine, beer and champagne contain the highest concentration of histamine, which could exacerbate your symptoms.

Eat Right
Avoiding certain foods and adding more of others can affect your likelihood of developing seasonal allergies, as well as the severity of your symptoms.

German researchers from the University of Bonn published an article in 2007 in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” (AJCN) that identified high-histamine foods. Common foods high in histamines include beer, tuna, mayonnaise, vinegar, wine, pickles, olives, and yogurt, to name a few.

According to the Michigan Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Specialists (MASAS), fermented, aged and processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, pepperoni, luncheon meats and cheeses are also high in histamines – hard to avoid, buy try during this critical part of the year.

It would be always be advisable to consult and allergist and/or nutritionist to get some expert advice in regards to what food to avoid and include in their diet.

Hiding from the Sun? Not all Shade is Equal.

While shade is a potentially valuable means of protection from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, not all shade is equally protective.

People can spend long hours in the shade while still receiving quite a lot of sun exposure and risking skin damage. This is because UVB rays, often considered the most harmful part of sunlight, can reach the skin indirectly. Indirect or diffuse UV light is radiation that has been scattered by the clouds and other elements in the atmosphere, and/or bounced back from UV-reflective surfaces like dry sand or concrete. We can rely only on deep shade (where we cannot see the sky and no UV penetrates) to offer truly complete protection.

Skin cancers are disproportionately concentrated on the head compared with other parts of the body. Faces, the nose in particular, are especially at risk. For men, the ears are a focal point for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Although the head is easy to protect, too often it is left bare. Even when hats are worn, many provide only minimal shade – especially for the nose, ears, and neck.

Hats with broad brims all around and those with brims angled downwards provide the greatest UV protection. Unless they are very large, umbrellas provide relatively little UV protection. A single umbrella on a sandy beach by the sea provides limited sun protection because so much UV is reflected under the umbrella from the surfaces of the sand, water and sky.

Shady trees are always inviting on a hot, sunny day, and those with large spreads of dense foliage best protect us from the sun. If you can, choose a tree near other trees or buildings to further block out the sky.

Factors that increase the amount of scattered or indirect UVB, such as reflective surfaces, will decrease the protection trees can provide. The same tree actually gives less protection earlier and later in the day, when the proportion of diffuse UV is high, than it does in the middle of the day when the sun is more directly overhead.

Shade structures such as roofed areas, shade-sails, and pergolas vary widely in the amount of protection provided. Factors that determine how well a structure provides shade include the size of the structure, its orientation, and where it is in relation to other structures, such as buildings, trees and other vegetation.

Shade alone can rarely provide full UV protection, especially for prolonged periods. However, it is one important element in a comprehensive sun protection program that includes covering exposed skin with clothing (particularly clothes made of bright- or dark-colored, tightly woven fabrics), wearing hats and sunglasses, and regularly using sunscreen containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide with an SPF of 30 or higher.

All these steps taken together will help ensure that we are adequately protected from the sun’s rays when we are outdoors.

Shingles and the new preventive vaccine

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles, also called herpes zoster. After the chickenpox clears, the virus stays inside the body. If the virus reactivates (wakes up), the result is shingles – a painful, blistering rash.

In October 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new vaccine that can prevent shingles. This is the second vaccine that the FDA has approved to prevent shingles.

Insurance currently covers the cost of getting the shingles vaccine that the FDA approved some years ago. Who pays for the cost of this new vaccine, however, is causing confusion. Here’s what you should know.

While this new vaccine is available, it takes time for insurance companies to cover the cost. It’s expected that insurance will cover the cost of getting this new vaccine, which requires 2 shots, in 2018.

The risk of getting shingles increases with age. A vaccine can reduce your risk of getting shingles. Your doctor may recommend getting this vaccine after your 50th birthday or once you reach 60 years of age. There’s another, and maybe even more important, reason for getting the shingles vaccine. If you’ve had chickenpox, you can still get shingles after getting the shingles vaccine. Despite that downside, the vaccine will still lessens your risk of developing serious complications from shingles, such as life-disrupting nerve pain.

The nerve pain can last long after the shingles rash goes away. Some people have this nerve pain, called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), for many years. The pain can be so bad that it interferes with your everyday life. The shingles vaccine reduces your risk of developing this nerve pain, even more than it reduces your risk of getting shingles.

An anti-viral medicine may also prevent long-lasting nerve pain if your get shingles. It’s most effective when started within 3 days of seeing the rash. The anti-viral medicine can also make shingles symptoms milder and shorter.

To diagnose shingles, a dermatologist will look at the skin and ask some questions.

If there is any doubt, the dermatologist may scrape a blister to get a sample. This sample will be examined under a microscope. Also, the dermatologist may send the fluid from a blister to a laboratory for testing.

Without treatment, the rash may clear in a few weeks. Dermatologists, however, strongly recommend treatment. Without it, many people get pain, numbness, itching, and tingling that can last for months and even years.

It’s best to get treatment immediately. Treatment can include:
- Pain relievers to help ease the pain: The pain can be very bad, and prescription painkillers may be necessary.
- Anti-viral medicine: This medicine may be prescribed when a doctor diagnoses shingles within 72 hours of the rash first appearing. The earlier anti-viral treatment is started, the better it works. They can lessen the pain and the amount of time the pain lasts.
- Nerve blocks: Given for intense pain, these injections contain a numbing anesthetic and sometimes a corticosteroid.
- Corticosteroids: To lower swelling and pain, some patients may get corticosteroid pills with their anti-viral medicine. This treatment is not common because it can make the rash spread.