Clinical Dermatology


Herpes zoster is an acute viral infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It usually occurs in people over 50 years of age and is associated with the presence of immunosuppression.

It is characterized by a contralateral (on one side of the body) vesicular rash that appears on an erythematous base and is usually accompanied by excruciating pain. It is most often found in the chest, lumbosacral and cervical region, but also in the trigeminal region (eye area). The most important complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia.

The dermatologist may prescribe antiviral medication, as well as pain medication to relieve the pain. Antiviral treatment accelerates the healing of skin lesions, reduces the duration of acute pain and reduces the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia.