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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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Last updated: 05/18/2017 4:45 PM,

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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Jenny took the time to address all my concerns and gave me great advice. She was very professional, very knowledgeable, and friendly

#12011-05-27 09:49:17

thoroughness and timeliness of the doctor

#22017-06-13

The office has a very relaxed setting this was the most comfort that I ever felt going to any doctors office, and also great music, you guys we here from me around the holidays and after my outcome with the other specialist!!! Thanks again!! Service AAAAA+++++++++

#32017-08-12

Punctuality of apointment.

#42017-09-22

Overall I just appreciated the fact that my variety of issues were addressed, but of course there are always those questions that pop up after the fact. I appreciated the Dr & assistant's attentiveness. I also appreciated that the Dr was very conscience of what meds were pregnancy safe & not.

#52017-02-01

People, help, expertise.

#62011-01-17 15:16:10

Doctor made eye contact while talking - this is truly the sign of a caring person. Thank you.

#72017-05-26

I normally am turned off by palatial offices, but the office is so aesthetically beautiful, the fittings and art work so exquisite, that I am filled with admiration.

#82017-08-29

I didn't have to wait at all to be shown to the back. The physician anticipated all of my questions and was very nice.

#92017-07-16

The friendliness. professionalism and knowledge of all staff members.

#102017-10-08

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

wouldnt change nothing

#12017-10-11

My next appointment could not be scheduled for 6 weeks. I wish I could be seen sooner!

#22010-12-16 10:06:03

don't change a thing, you guys are the best! Please send me Real Estate Referrals, thanks

#32010-09-30 09:51:55

keep on doing excellent customer service skills

#42017-10-28

shorter wait time for new patient appointment.

#52017-06-03

Can not be better!

#62011-04-05 09:29:32

I've never been in a medical office that was so warm and inviting. The decor and overall appearance has the feel of your living room but also reminds you that you are in a clinical environment as well. This practice surpasses my expectations in every way, from the staff, dress code, advances in technology and overall care of the patient. I was made to feel that my care is your number one priority.

#72011-04-29 11:02:03

more sample products

#82011-06-02 14:59:00

I am completely happy with my needs being met here.

#92010-08-23 16:52:07

Nicer chairs in office

#102011-01-24 14:33:36
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