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Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Painful blisters on a red base. Rash may be preceed by pain in the area.

Follows nerve segments, in a band-like pattern. Does not cross the midline

Herpes zoster is caused by the reactivation of latent Varicella Zoster Virus (VSV). A reactivation usually occurs in the elderly and immunocompromised, but may occur for unknown reasons. It has been reported in children.

Hallmark of the disease:
Small grouped vesicles on a pink/red base that occurs unilaterally without crossing the midline. The rash is usually limited to 1-2 dermatomes (nerve segments) and pain may accompany the eruption.

Aggressive antiviral drugs combined with topical and systemic anti-inflammatory medications (prednisone and topical steroids) to minimize the development of post herpetic neuralgia which is the most significant manifestation of this disorder.

Normal course:
The course of the eruption depends on 3 factors; age, severity and immunosuppression. Clearing is usually seen in 2-3 weeks, but may last up to three months in severe cases.

Patient Education:
Explain that the condition is a re-activation of the chicken pox virus. Compliance with the treatment program is essential to decrease the potential complication of post-herpetic neuralgia

Nursing Measures:
To review patient education goals, access compliance and to monitor side effects and effectiveness of the treatment plan. Monitor and maintain patient comfort.

Dr. Crutchfield recommends the following helpful Patient information:
American Academy of Dermatology: Herpes Zoster

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