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Had shingles many times. Is it appropriate to refer to a dermatologist?

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I have had shingles more than 20 times any help? MD is referring me to dermatologist, is this appropriate?
Posted Wed, 30 Oct 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:
See an infectiologist....

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about these repeated shingle out breaks. I know the pain associated with this and as such how disabling this can be to you. I hope together we propose solutions that can help.

The best way t deal with recurrent shingles is to get vaccinated. However, the same factor that predispose your to shingles, that is a weakened immune system may prevent the use of this vaccine. So if there is any cause of immune depression in you, then you may need to get it addressed before you can benefit from vaccination.

If you cannot receive the shingles vaccine, the best option for dealing with recurrent shingles is to treat each episode with prescription antiviral medication and pain medication as soon as possible. If you take antivirals within 48 hours of the rash appearing, the chances that you will develop postherpetic neuralgia are much lower. Your rash will also heal faster, and there will be less scarring and less pain associated with the rash.

If your immunosuppression is severe and the shingles episodes are frequent, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking antiviral medication daily for a time. In some cases, this may help suppress subsequent episodes of shingles.

I cannot tell why he prefer you to see a dermatologist. Maybe he is concerned about the scarring caused by repeated out breaks. If that is the case, then please address it with him if you are not concerned. However, for the shingles management itself, I will suggest that you get a referral to an infectious disease specialist rather.

I hope this addresses your query fully and provides ample information for you to act on. Thank you for using our services and please feel free to ask for clarifications if need be. I wish you well.
Dr. Ditah, MD

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