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Continued: Shingles remain a lifelong threat

  • Article by: STEVE DORFMAN , Cox News Service
  • Last update: March 31, 2014 - 10:00 AM

At the first sign of shingles — that is, when you begin experiencing nerve pain, burning or topical blistering — get to your doctor immediately.

“By taking antiviral prescription medication within 72 hours of an outbreak, you can help reduce the pain and duration of the disease,” says Boca Raton, Fla., family physician Dr. Carlos Ballestas.

In severe cases, notes Ballestas, patients may need to supplement the antiviral meds with corticosteroids (to reduce swelling), antihistamines (to decrease itching) and Zostrix, a cream containing capsaicin, which helps control pain.

In addition, Ballestas warns that just because you’ve never had chickenpox does not mean shingles pose no threat.

“Exposure to shingles may cause chickenpox in adults or children who’ve never had chickenpox,” he explains.

Guess that helps explain why Olbermann’s signature signoff has always been: “Good night — and good luck.”

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