Shingles  also known as Herpes zoster: 
this disorder is an acute unilateral and segmental inflammation of the
dorsal root ganglia caused by infection with the herpes virus varicella
zoster or V -Z, the same virus causes by chicken pox.  Herpes Zoster
produces localized vesicular (relating to small, saclike bodies) skin lesions
confined to a dermatome (the area of skin supplied with afferent nerve
fibers by a single posterior spinal root), and severe neuralgic pain in
peripheral areas innervated ( supply of nerve stimulation sent to a part)
by the nerves arising in the inflamed ganglia ( a group of nerve cell bodies,
located outside the central nervous system).

Cause:  Shingles is caused by reactivation of the herpes virus
V -Z that has lain dormant in the cerebral ganglia (extramedullary ganglia
of the cranial nerves) or the ganglia of posterior nerve roots since a
previous episode of chicken pox.




Within 2 to 4 days : deep pain, pruritus (itching), and paresthesia
(an abnormal sensation, such as, burning and prickling) or hyperesthesia
(Abnormal increased sensitivity of the skin or organ), more common in the
trunk and occasionally on the arms and legs.

Pain may be continuous or intermittent

Small red  nodular skin lesions then usually erupt on the painful
areas and commonly spread unilaterally around the  thorax or vertically
over the arms or legs.

They quickly become vesicles filled with clear fluid or pus.

After 10 days after they appear, the vesicles usually dry up and form


To relieve the itching and neuralgic pain – your doctor may prescribe
calamine lotion or another topical antipruritic 

Aspirin, possibly with codeine or another analgesic

Your doctor may prescribe an application of collodion or tincture of
benzoin to unbroken lesions.

If lesion ruptures an becomes infected an antibiotic may be prescribe

Trigeminal zoster with corneal involvement calls for  instillation
of idoxuridine ointment or another antiviral medication. 

Your doctor may prescribe a combination of treatment for patient with
intractable pain of  postherpetic neuralgia such as ; corticosteroids
to reduce inflammation, of a sedatives or tranquilizers, or an antidepressants
with phenothiazines.

Studies shows that * Zovirax (acyclovir) seems to stop progression
of the skin rash and prevent visceral complications.  * Vidarabine
reportedly speeds healing of lesions, decreases pain and prevents the disease
from spreading and developing complications

 * Call your doctor PROMPTLY if you develop signs of dissemination
(generalized lesions) and CNS infection (headache, fever, stiff neck and
or weakness. 

 * Avoid close contact with individuals who haven’t had chicken
pos until the eruption has resolved.