Diagnosis of Varicella zoster infection and Review of Treatment Considerations for Post-Herpetic Neuralgia in the Elderly

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Pamela Verma

Keywords

Varicella zoster, post-herpetic neuralgia, anti-virals, aged, and Shingles

Abstract

Herpes zoster infections are a common presentation seen in the primary care setting. Typically these infections are observed in children, although recent vaccination programs are reducing their presentation. In the elderly, and other immunocompromised states, re-activation of this infection, Varicella zoster can be seen. The infection results in a painful, erythematous vesicular rash that is dermatomally distributed. Although, most infections are self-limited, a major concern for health care practitioners is the subsequent “post-herpetic neuralgia”, an incredibly painful. This review presents a clinical case of a Varicella zoster infection in an 82-year-old man and evaluates current treatment modalities and evidence for prevention and treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia.