Herpes Zoster and the Complications of Post-Herpetic Neuralgia Essay

Herpes Zoster and the Complications of Post-Herpetic Neuralgia Essay

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Many people can remember to a time when they were a little kid and tiny little red bumps began to form on different locations of their skin. The small bumps began to spread and began to itch. Remembering the pink color of the calamine lotion that was used to soothe the itching sensation, realizing that these bumps were chicken pox. It is common knowledge that once a person contracts chicken pox and the outbreak clears up, the person will not get an outbreak again. Yet there are unknown complications that may develop later in life from having the chicken pox. Herpes zoster (Zoster), or commonly known as Shingles, is one of these complications. Not only is this a very painful condition, but can lead to other complications as well.
Shingles is a rash on the skin that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chicken pox. The rash is extremely painful and is accompanied with many additional symptoms. Often the first symptoms are usually only located on one side and include tingling, pain, or burning sensations around these areas. The second symptom of Shingles is a red rash that develops in patches on the skin. Finally the rash then develops into small blisters that end up bursting, drying out, and then flaking off. Other common symptoms include abdominal pain, general ill feeling, headaches, and joint pain (Sampathkumar, P., et al, 2009).
Chicken pox, or varicella-zoster, lies dormant in a person’s cerebral ganglia or in the ganglia of the posterior nerve roots after the person has an outbreak. Typically the virus will remain dormant for the rest of the person’s life, without a reoccurrence. Although there are instances when the virus will “awaken” or become active again, and will rev...


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...American Academy of Dermatology. (2006). Herpes Zoster (Shingles). Brochure
What is Postherpetic Neuralgia? What causes Postherpitic Neuralgia?. (n.d.) Retrieved August 8, 2010 from Medical News Today Web site: http//www.medicalnewstoday.com

Mayo Clinic. (2010). Postherpetic neuralgia. Brochure. Mayo Clinic Staff: Author.

Sampathkumar, P., Drage, LA., Martin, DP., Herpes zoster (shingles) and postherpetic neuralgia. Mayo Clinic Proc. 2009 Mar;84(3):274-80.

Mandell, GL., Bennett, JE., Dolin, R. eds. Principles and practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009: chap 137.

Coen, P., Scott, F., Leedham-Green, M., Nia, T., Jamil, A., Johnson, R., Breuer, J., Predicting and preventing post-herptetic neuralgia: Are current risk factors useful in clinical practice?. Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. (2006).

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