Book
Appt

Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

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

How can we help you?

SKIN

# of surveys: 3757
Last updated: 12/03/2019 4:34 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)

Office atmosphere was wonderful, which made the experience that much better. It was nice to see Dr. Ringfeil in a not so hectic setting (like Jefferson Dermatology!)

#12019-09-13

Everything

#22019-06-08

knowledge and friendly

#32019-08-01

Dr. Ringpfeil listened patiently and explained treatment and diagnosis thoroughly

#42019-07-28

The entire staff was very kind. Linda made me feel safe throughout the procedure.I also enjoyed the art which was beautifully displayed.

#52012-12-14 09:58:48

the dr was much more insightful and knowledgeable than anyone in the past

#62019-06-23

Very well organized! Dr. Ringpfeil was very professional and thorough!

#72019-03-30

Dr. Ringpfeil

#82019-06-21

Appearance of office, professionalism and efficiency of staff and doctor.

#92012-10-03 12:03:35

Everyone was extremely welcoming, pleasant and professional. I felt very secure with the knowledge and professional, caring treatment by both the doctor and her assistant.

#102019-11-19

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

don't see how you could improve anything

#12011-01-12 08:19:57

WINE AND CHEESE WOULD BE NICE IN THE WAITING AREA

#22011-02-09 12:32:20

I can't think how anything could have been better.

#32018-12-20

While I totally understand the late policy, unfortunately my daughter and I drove 1.5 hrs to the facility and given the weather and errorous directions, we ended up being 7 mins late. I immediately called the office while on route to explain that we were lost and sought correct directions. The receptionist was very curt, short and condesending. Upon our arrival, there was no warm greeting and very limited eye contact. Again,as a heath care provider myself, I appreciate the need to follow a schedule, however, our appointments were in direct succession and I do not think it would have had a significant impact on the work schedule, given our special circumstance.

#42011-03-24 10:10:11

excellent service

#52019-01-07

Send the paperwork to my home address in advance of appointment. Provide better reading material in the reception area.

#62019-11-08

Nothing that I could think of would be better.

#72019-03-25

I can't think of anything else that you can do, everything was excellent.

#82019-02-20

I had an appointment for a consulation for sun damage. Unfortunately, I need to see either a doctor or PA for my issue and this was not included in my appointment, so I need to make another trip. It is difficult for me to carve time out of my work day to take care of personal needs, so this is creating an inconvenience for me. I would have preferred to had the complete consultation done in one appointment.

#92011-02-14 14:14:53

This was my first visit and although i was uncomfortable with my problem which was addressing I was truly happy with everything else.

#102011-07-28 15:11:23
Customer Rating : 4.5

Based on 110 ratings