What are Shingles?

Shingles is a skin infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox (called varicella). After you have chicken pox, the virus can remain in your body for many years, reemerging as shingles. Although shingles isn’t life-threatening, it can be very painful and cause serious complications.

What are the Symptoms of Shingles?

Shingles tends to occur across the torso and looks like a stripe of red blisters or rash. It typically causes symptoms like pain, sensitivity, and itchiness. In fact, pain is typically the first and most prominent symptom of shingles. There may be fluid-filled blisters and it may cause other symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, and photosensitivity. However, it’s possible to experience shingles pain without developing a rash. It’s also possible to experience shingles on the face, neck, or eyes, which can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Is Shingles Contagious?

If you have shingles, you can pass it on to other people – especially those who haven’t had chickenpox. This can happen through direct contact with open sores caused by shingles. You can be vaccinated against shingles, which can lower the risk of serious complications. Our Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner, Ryan Patterson, can help you take steps to prevent the spread of shingles and lower your risk for complications.

What Causes Shingles?

After you have chickenpox, the varicella virus enters the nervous system where it becomes inactive. Eventually, it may reactivate and cause shingles. It’s unknown exactly why this happens but it’s more common in older adults, possibly because of lower immunity as you age. For this same reason, shingles can also occur in people with lower immunity like that brought on by medications, cancer treatments, or chronic diseases.

Shingles Treatment Options

Shingles treatment requires the expertise of a dermatology certified provider. During an appointment at our Terre Haute, IN office, we can help you achieve relief from symptoms. There is no cure for shingles, but prescription antiviral medications can help lower the risk of complications and help you recover faster. Additionally, our team can prescribe topical medications like pain relievers and anti-itch creams to help ease symptoms.

It’s extremely important to see a dermatology certified provider if you have shingles. Shingles can spread to areas like the face and eyes, causing serious complications to your vision. Blisters can also be susceptible to infection or spread to other areas of the body if not covered properly.


If you have an immediate concern, you want to find quality care as soon as possible. Our office takes walk-in appointments and will be happy to address your concerns and offer you immediate treatment suggestions and medical care.


Preventing Shingles

Shingles is preventable by receiving both doses of the shingles vaccine. This vaccine is recommended after age 50 or for younger patients who have lower immunity. By getting the shingles vaccine, you can drastically lower your risk for serious complications from shingles like post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a chronic condition in the nerves that causes significant pain for months to years after shingles goes away.

If you have shingles, you should take every step to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the body or to other people who may be at risk for developing shingles and chickenpox (such as children or elderly people). Our team can help you properly cover blisters and ensure your symptoms are manageable. We’ll also ensure you know which complications to watch out for and when to follow up with our office.

Schedule a Consultation

At Biltmore Dermatology, we can provide prompt, same-day care for shingles and a variety of other dermatological conditions. To meet with our dermatology certified provider, contact our Terre Haute, IN office or simply walk in now.


Ryan is State Licensed and Nationally Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner (NP-C) by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Additionally, he is board certified as a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board. He has 20+ years of Dermatology Experience.

Meet The Team

“The office was able to get me in quick and everyone was very helpful and friendly at the visit. Would highly recommend. Thank you!” – Cody G.

“I walked in as a brand new patient. Dreading the possibility of having to spend my whole afternoon there, I was in and out in 45 minutes, including a small procedure. Less than an hour from registration to departure is amazing in itself! Front desk staff was very kind, nurse Maddie was awesome, and Ryan was very knowledgeable! Bonus: great music playing in the exam room. I have honestly never been so impressed with a medical office. Would HIGHLY recommend!” – Sarah G.

“I had a walk in today and this was my first time here. The staff was very nice and polite! Would definitely recommend this business for all your Dermatology needs!!!” – Warren H.




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