15215 S. 48th St.
Suite 120

Phoenix, AZ 85044
480-706-6580
3011 S. Lindsay
Rd. Suite 111
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-507-5011
36359 N. Gantzel
Rd. Suite 103

San Tan Valley, AZ 85140
480-636-1193 
3102 E. Indian School Rd.
#140

Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-266-0266
20950 N. Tatum
Blvd #350

Phoenix, AZ 85050
480-502-6651
1729 North Trekell
Rd. #124

Casa Grande, AZ 85122
520-421-7100
1242 E. McKellips
Rd. #103

Mesa, AZ 85203
480-962-4269
230 S. 3rd St.
Suite B-4

Phoenix, AZ 85004
602-374-2415
 

Our team of professionals and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well-being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics, which can be found on the side of each page. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you.

Please note that this information is for your personal use only, which is available to educate you about certain skin conditions or possible treatments. It is not intended to replace an appropriate evaluation and treatment plan with one of our providers.

As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.

Shingles is a painful rash that is caused by the varicella zoster virus. It usually appears as a band or strip of blisters on one side of the body that goes from the spine around the front to the breastbone. However, shingles can also appear on the neck, nose and forehead.

Shingles derives from the same virus that causes chicken pox. After having chicken pox, the virus lies dormant in nerve tissue underneath the skin. Years later, and with no known reason, it reactivates and causes shingles. Shingles is contagious and can easily pass through touching from one person to another. The virus develops into shingles for people who have had chicken pox and develops into chicken pox for those who have not had it. Shingles appears most frequently among older adults (age 60+) and in people with compromised immune systems. Generally, a person only gets shingles once; it rarely recurs.

Symptoms for shingles include:

  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling on one side of the body. The pain often precedes any other symptoms.
  • A rash that appears a few days after the pain. It may be itchy.
  • Blisters that break open and then crust over.
  • Fever, achiness or headache.

Some people never get a rash or blisters with shingles, but simply experience the pain.

Shingles is diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination of the telltale rash. If you suspect you may have shingles, it is important to contact your doctor as quickly as possible. Early treatment can reduce the pain and severity of the episode. Two types of medications are prescribed to treat shingles:

  • Antiviral drugs to combat the virus, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir.
  • Pain medicines, from oral pain pills and antidepressants to anticonvulsants and topical preparations that contain skin-numbing agents.

Shingles usually heals in about 2 to 3 weeks without any problem. However, there is a small percentage of patients (10% to 15%), predominantly over age 50, who experience pain that lasts beyond one month after the healing period. This is called postherpetic neuralgia. Catching shingles early and beginning treatment can reduce the likelihood and severity of postherpetic neuralgia. See your dermatologist for pain relief.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine, called Zostavax, for the prevention of adult shingles. It is approved for adults age 60 or older who have had chicken pox. Essentially, the vaccine delivers a booster dose of chicken pox. The vaccine has proven to be very effective in reducing the incidence of shingles and postherpetic neuralgia.


 
Our Offices

Ahwatukee:
15215 S. 48th Street, Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85044
Phone: 480.706.6580
Fax: 480.706.8157
 
Gilbert:
3011 S. Lindsay Road, Suite 111
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 480.507.5011
Fax: 480.355.1999
 
San Tan Valley:
36359 N. Gantzel Road, Suite 103
San Tan Valley, AZ 85140
Phone: 480.636.1193
Fax: 480.664.3661
 
Downtown Phoenix:
230 S. 3rd St. Suite B-4
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602.374.2415
 
Central Phoenix​:
3102 E. Indian School
Rd. #140
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: 602.266.0266
 
North Phoenix​:
20950 N. Tatum Blvd #350
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Phone: 480.502.6651
 
Casa Grande:
1729 North Trekell Road, #124
Casa Grande, AZ 85122
Phone: 520.421.7100
 
Mesa:
1242 E. McKellips Road, #103
Mesa, AZ 85203
Phone: 480.962.4269