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Herpes Zoster Dermatology

 

Are you suffering from the symptoms of herpes zoster? If yes, you are not alone. If you have the rash, you’re not alone, and you should seek professional medical help immediately. You should visit a dermatologist for the correct diagnosis and treatment options. Here are the symptoms, complications, and treatments for herpes zoster. In addition, you should get a proper vaccination to avoid future outbreaks.

Symptoms

The rash caused by herpes zoster can appear on any part of the body, but the most common locations are the face, torso, and ribcage. The rash will typically develop in one area of the body but can affect adjacent dermatomes, such as the groin. It is also possible to develop disseminated herpes, which is more severe than localized zoster.

A person suffering from herpes zoster usually develops a rash and then blisters that break open and form crusty scabs. A doctor will usually prescribe antiviral medications to treat the rash, but if the rash is particularly severe, it may require treatment with an intravenous solution. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. You are contagious until the rash scabs over.

Antiviral drugs are the mainstay of treatment for herpes zoster. These drugs block inflammation and reduce pain. They work best if started early in the course of the infection. You may also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. If you have postherpetic neuralgia, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the facial nerve.
Treatments

A common side effect of Herpes Zoster is the blistering rash. The rash may develop in clusters or appear as a belt pattern over the body. Open sores may develop in the mouth, ears, and genital areas. Aside from causing pain, herpes zoster may also cause flu-like symptoms. Symptoms may include fever, body aches, chills, and anxiety.

Symptomatic treatment for zoster usually includes pain relievers, cool compresses, and skin care. Although most zoster rash clears on its own in a couple of weeks, people who have an infection should seek medical attention to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. If a doctor suspects you have herpes zoster, he or she will prescribe antiviral medications to help relieve the pain.

The most effective treatment for herpes zoster involves oral acyclovir. Antiviral medications work best if they are taken within 72 hours of the rash’s onset. Anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants can also reduce the pain. For patients with postherpetic neuralgia, narcotics or anticonvulsants can be prescribed.

Complications

The most common zoster complication is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). The pain persists in the area of the rash for more than 90 days. Symptoms include burning, stinging, and itching. In severe cases, pain may last for months or even years. Some patients also experience pain and lymphadenopathy in a dependent region. Herpes zoster is often associated with fever, rash, and sores.

Varicella-zoster virus is the cause of chickenpox and herpes. The virus remains dormant in the dorsal root ganglia. The first sign of herpes zoster is a painful dermatomal rash. Physical examination shows grouped herpetiform vesicles on an erythematous base. Antiviral medications must be started within 72 hours of onset of the first symptom.

Despite the high incidence of herpes zoster, the underlying pathophysiology is unclear. While patients with multiple risk factors are more likely to develop PHN, dermatologists report high-risk patients. Several factors have been linked to the onset of herpes zoster, including dental procedures, or routine immunosuppression. The authors of this article summarize published articles and review the documented complication rates.

Prevention

The primary method of prevention is vaccination. The zoster vaccine is available as a single 0.65-mL subcutaneous injection in the deltoid region of the upper arm. It is not recommended to administer this vaccine as a booster dose, or even a second time unless there are medical reasons for doing so. The vaccine is reconstituted with a sterile syringe to avoid the possibility of introducing preservatives or other antiseptics into the vaccine.

The primary method of prevention of zoster is to avoid getting infected. Although zoster is a contagious viral disease, it is still possible to prevent its recurrence by following a few tips. Among these tips, keep in mind that zoster can be life threatening. As a result, it is important to understand what causes zoster, and take action accordingly.