- Caused by reactivation of a primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection because of a decline in the virus-specific cell-mediated immunity.
- Usually presents with pain described as burning or stabbing, followed by a vesicular rash in the affected dermatome.
- The location of symptoms depends on the location of the affected nerve.
- Diagnosis is primarily based on the typical clinical symptoms, such as dermatomal pain and eruption of grouped vesicles in the same dermatome. Confirmation can be done using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods.
- Treatment is primarily to reduce pain using analgesics and viral replication using antiviral medicine such as aciclovir.
Last updated: May 10, 2012