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Shingles - Herpes Zoster

Shingles, is a viral disease causing a blistering skin rash that appears as stripes. Usually the rash only occurs on one side of the body and is preceded by general itching and headache. The virus that causes shingles, called herpes zoster, also causes the short duration rash, chickenpox. The chickenpox virus never leaves the body once an individual has the disease but instead remains dormant in the spinal nerves. Unexpectedly, in old age the herpes zoster virus flares-up and manifests as shingles. Usually shingles occurs in patients fighting an infection that has weakened the immune system. Patients with HIV or receiving anti-cancer therapy are at an especially high risk of developing the disease. Approximately five out of every thousand adults over the age of 65 contract shingles. The main clinical sign is the rash, but most people report intense pain that lasts for four weeks as a result of nerve irritation from the virus. Since the nerves are mainly affect by the virus, some people even report eye pain and temporary losses of vision as a result of a rash on the face. Most symptoms depend upon the location of the body presenting the rash.

Shingles Diagnosis

Since the rash is distinct a doctor can easily diagnose shingles with a physical examination. Often, a patient history is necessary to confirm that the individual had chickenpox. If the rash is not present or the rash is not the distinct line form on one side of the body, biochemistry tests can reveal the virus circulating in the body.

Shingles Treatment

Similar to chicken pox, the virus must run its course in the body before disappearing. Most treatment options focus on lessoning the pain, fever, and itching that accompanies shingles. Antivirals commonly reduce the spread of the virus in the body and decrease the duration of the rash but do not treat the residual nerve pain. Lotion helps relieve the itching while pain medications such as morphine or steroids can lesson the pain and help stop the inflammation. If the itching and pain does is not reduced with lotions, local anesthetic such as lidocaine can often reduce the irritation from the rash.

Shingles Management

After taking medication, the patients should stay out of direct sunlight which can irritate the rash. Proper rest is essential since stress is one of the main factors promoting further inflammation and outbreaks. The shingles virus is contagious to people who have never had chicken pox. Therefore, young children and adults who never had the virus should stay away from the individual with shingles.

Shingles Prevention

A new vaccine called Zostavax was recently developed and has been proven to reduce the occurrence of herpes in half of the people who are infected. Since 2007, adults over the age of 60 who have had chickenpox as a child are recommended to take the vaccine. Some research has also shown that adults who have had chickenpox develop some immunity to shingles by being around children who have chickenpox. Most importantly, a healthy immune system greatly decreases the chances of developing shingles and low stress environments minimize the risk of outbreaks.

Shingles - Resources


Chicken Pox / Shingles (Varicella - zoster)
VZV Research Foundation
36 East 72nd St
New York, NY 10021
Tel: 212-472-3181

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shingles/detail_shingles.htm

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SKIN

# of surveys: 3749
Last updated: 05/18/2017 4:45 PM,

PATIENT RATINGS

Would you recommend us?

definitely
93.1%
probably
6.16%
maybe
0.58%
not likely
0.08%
no
0.02%

Compare our service to other similar practices

excellent
87.9%
very good
10.1%
good
1.8%
poor
0.06%
very poor
0%

Overall doctor performance

excellent
94.2%
very good
4.89%
good
0.80%
poor
0.03%
very poor
0%

The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

The doctor took time to answer your questions

excellent
94.0%
very good
4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
very poor
0%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
94.3%
very good
4.16%
good
1.25%
poor
0.14%
very poor
0.02%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
2.18%
poor
0.11%
very poor
0.0%

Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
0.08%

Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
good
3.39%
poor
0.24%
very poor
0.08%

Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
very good
6.93%
good
2.08%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0.05%

Parking

excellent
66.4%
very good
14.4%
good
15.7%
poor
2.49%
very poor
0.9%

Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
90.9%
very good
7.23%
good
1.85%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

The service was great!

#12017-02-21

Dr. Ringpfiel was very attentive; she explained very clearly different treatments and their outcomes and gave me some alternatives I could choose from. I was extremely pleased by the Dr's professionalism, excellence, kindness and attention. Definitely one of the best services I have received! I am bringing my son in 3 weeks!

#22017-05-15

The location and setting of the office.

#32017-02-14

Yes, the doctor listened attentively to my description of symptoms and was authentically interested in helping me to resolve a skin issue that numerous specialist have not been able to identify.

#42017-08-05

Excellent service; thanks for not making me wait to be seen, like I do in every other doctor's office!

#52011-06-08 09:39:58

The consultation with the doctor. She was able to diagnose the problem, which is most appreciated.

#62017-08-09

The Dr. was very kind, compassionate and respectful as well as knowlegeable of alternative ways. She is a real doll. Happy to have her as my doc and would recommed her to clients at Arrowroot Health Food Store.

#72017-03-07

Very Friendly

#82017-09-25

Dr. Ringpfeil was very friendly & took time to answer all my questions. Very attentive & knowledgable!

#92016-12-25

Efficiency

#102017-06-06

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

I did not have any issues. The service was great.

#12017-01-13

More appointment availability either early or later (before or after the normal 9-5 workday)

#22010-08-23 16:22:28

no suggestions

#32017-11-04

no complaints

#42017-07-23

Keep me informed of specials on products that might be good for my skin.

#52011-01-05 16:01:31

this computer system doesnt show the full anser in some cases. and some required tabs shouldnt be required, like cell phone and work phone.

#62017-05-14

receptioist is a little stiff and unwelcoming, but attentive proffessional.

#72017-08-25

Nothing, my visit was great.

#82017-06-29

keep up the good work. you have an excellent service and your office is great

#92017-01-26

More appointment availability either early or later (before or after the normal 9-5 workday)

#102010-08-23 16:22:28
Customer Rating : 4.3

Based on 33 ratings