Dermatology located in Fairfax, VA

Whether you are looking for effective treatment for painful shingles symptoms or concerned about preventing shingles altogether for you or a loved one, the board-certified dermatologists at Integrated Dermatology of Fairfax can help. The team provides individualized phototherapy treatment to address complex skin conditions, including eczema and some forms of cancer. Book your consultation by calling the Fairfax, Virginia, office or scheduling online.

What is shingles?

Shingles occur when a dormant chickenpox virus, called the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), reactivates. This reactivation causes a painful rash, usually on one side of the body, and itching may precede it.

Once the rash appears, the area soon blisters, growing more irritated for a week or more, and the blisters may rupture and scab over. You may also experience:

  • Headache
  • Burning, tingling, or numbness of the area
  • Malaise and fever

The rash usually clears up within two or three weeks, but if nerves in the affected area are damaged, individuals may have nerve pain that continues for months or even years.

While there is no cure for shingles, prompt and effective treatment can speed relief and help avoid complications. Timely vaccination can prevent shingles.

How long does shingles last?

Shingles often last 2-6 weeks, depending on the severity of your case and the quality of care received.

While most only get shingles once, it’s possible to experience the condition multiple times.

What can I expect from shingles treatment?

Your Integrated Dermatology of Fairfax provider performs a careful evaluation and discusses your symptoms, medical history, lifestyle, any recent changes, and what medications you take. They personalize a care plan for you, which may include:


Providers prefer this method of dealing with the virus whenever possible to avoid the pain of shingles and the risk of nerve damage.

The CDC recommends two doses of the effective vaccine for adults over 50. This vaccine is also beneficial for adults over 19 with weakened immune systems.

Oral antiviral medications

Antiviral medications like acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir reduce the severity of shingles outbreaks and shorten their duration. It’s critical to get treatment as quickly as possible.

Pain relief

Pain relief may take several forms, such as over-the-counter or prescription medications to ease shingles pain. To soothe irritation and itching, your provider might recommend calamine lotion, warm oatmeal baths, or wet compresses.

Talk to your provider at Integrated Dermatology of Fairfax if you’re experiencing symptoms of shingles or want to know how to prevent it. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book your appointment conveniently online today.