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Herpes zoster - FAQ

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Herpes zoster

Herpes Zoster (HZ) or Ďthe fire of Saint Anthonyí is an acute infection associated with the stimulation of the Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV). It is characterised by monolateral pain and the eruption of vesicles or boils limited only to the area of innervation of a sensitive nerve (dermatome). The complication most important to note is the presence of neuralgia post-zosteriana as the pain persists for months after recovering from the cutaneous lesion.

Hi, my fatherís 72 and in august 2002 he contracted herpes zoster. After having seen various doctors, without results, we have been referred to a neurologist who has placated the intense pain suffered by my father for 4 months. Today, after almost one year, my father has again started to suffer from intense pain, and he canít tolerate certain types of material against his skin because it is enormously uncomfortable. The neurologist says that my father could still have some after-effects from the illness, what can I do for my father in order to not see him suffer like this any more? What can you advise me to do? THANK YOU IN ANTICIPATION OF YOUR RESPONSE.

Unfortunately, post-herpetic neuralgia frequently occurs with herpes zoster. The treatment for this type of pain ( that is, neuropathological pain) isnít easy. Certain drugs like tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentin, painkillers. I would advise you to pay a visit to a pain management centre. Dr Lorenzo Peli - dermatologist - GISED.

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