REVIEW – August 2017

Herpes zoster

Authors: Liis Puis

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Herpes zoster (shingles) is a disease that affects mainly older patients and causes rash and pain. Usually, it is easily diagnosed because of its typical clinical presentation – unilateral dermatomal rash and pain. Shingles is a clinical diagnosis and laboratory tests are normally not needed. It is very important to start antiviral treatment as soon as herpes zoster is diagnosed because the disease causes discomfort, pain and potential complications. In addition to antiviral treatment, analgesics should also be prescribed. The best way to prevent herpes zoster and its complications is vaccination.