Herpes zoster is a common viral infection caused by varicella-zoster virus. It is generally easy to diagnose this condition based on clinical findings. However in certain cases, systemic or internal involvement might occur, and this might prove as a challenge even to an experienced physician. Clinical Features:Herpes zoster may present with fever,malaise, headache or anorexia in the initial phases. The symptoms are generally mild and may not be present in some patients. The symptoms are generally followed by a rash which is typical of herpes zoster. Herpes zoster generally presents unilaterally, that is on one side of the body. However bilateral presentation has been noted in some cases. The rash is generally associated with severe pain or burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is so severe that the patient has difficulty in wearing clothes. Photophobia or intolerance to light is also present in certain cases. Herpes zoster is generally a harmless disease and does not have any systemic effects. However in severe cases, organ involvement might occur. An important complication of herpes zoster is postherpetic neuralgia. In this condition, the patient experiences severe pain as well as burning sensation even after the rash subsides.
Drugs like acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir are used in the management of this condition. Medications like paracetamol are given in case of prodromal symptoms like fever.