Are You at Risk for Shingles?

From the Show: Staying Well
Summary: One in three Americans is at risk for shingles, with over one million cases diagnosed each year. What should you do if you develop this painful condition?
Air Date: 12/9/13
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Anne Oaklander, MD, PhD
Oaklander Anne LouiseDr. Oaklander is Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and faculty in Neurology and Pathology (Neuropathology) at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

After a neuroscience major at Cornell she received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed neurology residency at UMDNJ, fellowships in peripheral nerve and pain at Johns Hopkins, then joined Hopkins' neurosurgery faculty.

At Harvard she directs Mass General's neuro-diagnostic skin-biopsy service and a federally-funded laboratory that studies neurological causes of chronic pain and itch. Research interests include postherpetic neuralgia and itch after shingles and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Her group characterized a small-fiber poly-neuropathy that causes widespread chronic pain and other symptoms in children and young adults (JOSeFINE), and linked fibromyalgia to small-fiber poly-neuropathy.

Dr. Oaklander has more than 100 publications and serves on editorial boards for PAIN and Neurology Today. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association.

She is named in America's Top Doctors, America's Top Physicians, and US News and World Report. She has served on advisory panels for the NIH, the FDA, and the Institute of Medicine, and currently serves on NIH's NIDCR Advisory Research Council
    Are You at Risk for Shingles?
    If you've got a painful, blistered, itchy rash that wraps along either the right or left side of your torso, you might have shingles.

    Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection (varicella-zoster virus) causing a painful inflammation of the nerve ganglia that erupts the skin around the middle part of your body. This is the same virus that causes chicken pox.

    If you've already had chicken pox, you're not safe. In fact, the virus remains in your body. The risk of a shingles outbreak increases as you age. Shingles causes a burning and painful sensation, and can last up to 30 days.

    There is no cure for shingles; but some treatments can help temporarily relieve some of your pain.

    For example, taking an oatmeal bath, using calamine lotion and applying cold wet compresses can be effective.

    Special guest, Dr. Anne Oaklander, shares everything you need to know about shingles.


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