Herpes Zoster is also known as Shingles and is a painful skin rash. Herpes Zoster is caused the reactivation of the varicella virus which also can cause chickenpox. Only people who previously had chickenpox can develop shingles later in their lifetime. People who have weak immune systems or older people are at greater risk of developing Herpes Zoster. Symptoms include stabbing pain, headaches, itching, burning or stinging, nausea, fever, an body aches.

After these symptoms occur, a rash will appear within the next few days. Shingles can be treated with pain medication or antiviral medication. Vaccines are available to help prevent shingles for certain people. The word shingles comes from the Latin word cingulum which means belt. There are approximately over 1 million new cases of Herpes Zoster per year and one out of three people develop shingles at some point in their life.

How its transmitted?

Herpes Zoster is contagious and can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with the fluid that comes out from the active blister rash. It cannot be transmitted through coughing or sneezing and is not contagious before the blister appears. Once the rash dries, it the generally not considered contagious anymore. Herpes Zoster typically looks like a cluster of little red patches that eventually develop to be small blisters. The blisters are filled with fluid and will break open to cause sores that will dry and scab over.

People with severe rashes might experience skin discoloration or scarring of the skin. Location of shingles can vary from person to person. It most commonly affects the torso area and the face including eyes, ears, and mouth. For the torso, it appears around the waist and ribcage. It usually affects only one side of the body and does not cross the mid-line.


Doctors diagnose Herpes Zoster based on the appearance and distribution of the rash. It is hard for doctors to diagnose shingles before the appearance of the rashes. If the diagnosis is unclear, the person can get laboratory tests done to clear the diagnosis. Depending on the clinic, you can either get blood work done to test for antibodies to the varicella virus or testing for skin lesion samples. Primary care physicians or emergency medicine physicians are qualified to diagnose and treat shingles.


Treatment for shingles has the goal of diminishing the effects of the virus and pain management of the rashes. Majority of people with shingles can manage it at home but people with weak immune systems or sever systems might need to be admitted into the hospital. Antiviral drugs like Valtrex are used to combat the varicella virus. These drugs help shorten the time of the illness and helps with the healing of skin lesions. The medications is most effective when started 72 hours of the rash first appearing.

  • Valtrex

    Valtrex is used for the treatment of the herpes virus in patients who seek therapy within 72 hours of finding the rash, for the treatment of ophthalmic herpes, for the treatment of recurrent cold sores, for the treatment of clinical episodes of genital herpes simplex infections, for the prevention of recurrent genital herpes, and reduction of transmission of genital herpes in patients suffering from recurrent genital herpes.

    From $80.54


    From $80.54

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