(Herpes Zoster; Post-herpetic Neuralgia)
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- Altered or compromised immune system, caused by medical conditions, such as HIV infection, lymphoma, or leukemia
- Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus
- Radiation therapy
- Red and has a slightly raised band or patch often with multiple small fluid-filled blisters that dry out and crust within several days
- Develops on one side of the body, but typically does not cross the midline
- Affects mostly the torso and face
- Affected eyes in severe cases, which can threaten vision
- Sensitivity and pain on the skin at the site of the rash; pain may be severe
- Tingling or itchiness on the skin, which may start a few days before the rash
- Easing symptoms
- Speeding recovery
- Preventing PHN
Home Remedies and Over-the-Counter Products
- Calamine lotion
- Wet compresses
- Frequent oatmeal baths
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Topical pain relievers that are applied to the skin
Treatment for Post-herpetic Neuralgia
- Antiseizure medications
- Prescription pain relievers
- Topical pain relievers
- Lidoderm patch
- Nerve blocks
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)—a device that generates low-level pulses of electrical current on the skin's surface
Treatment for Shingles of the Eye
- Keep all blisters covered with a bandage until they are dry and crusted over.
- If you are a healthcare worker, do not return to work until the blisters are dry and crusted over.
Avoid contact with people who are at risk of getting severe varicella, such as:
- Pregnant women
- Premature infants
- People who have a compromised immune system
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
VZV Research Foundation http://www.vzvfoundation.org
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Ocular shingles. Wills Eye Institute website. Available at: http://www.willseye.org/health-library/ocular-shingles. Updated October 5, 2011. Accessed August 28, 2014.
Shingles. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/shingles.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed August 28, 2014.
Shingles: diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/q---t/shingles/diagnosis-treatment. Accessed August 28, 2014.
Shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/overview.htm . Updated May 1, 2014. Accessed August 28, 2014.
1/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Tseng HF, Smith N, Harpaz R, Bialek SR, Sy LS, Jacobsen SJ. Herpes zoster vaccine in older adults and the risk of subsequent herpes zoster disease. JAMA. 2011;305(2):160-166.
6/9/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Forbes H, Bhaskaran K, et al. Quantification of risk factors for herpes zoster: population based case-control study. BMJ 2014;348.
- Reviewer: Fabienne Daguilh, MD
- Review Date: 06/2014 -
- Update Date: 00/51/2013 -