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Symptoms of Herpes Zoster

The prime period of the disease can manifest the prodromal symptoms: headache, malaise, subfebrile body temperature, chilling, dyspeptic disorders. While there may be pain, burning and itching, tingling and paresthesia along the peripheral nerve trunks in the area of future rashes. The intensity of these subjective local symptoms are different in individual patients. The duration of the initial period varies from 1 to 3-4 day; it is more often observed in adults and it lasts usually longer than in children.

Herpes Zoster virus affects the nervous system, that is why the first symptom of Herpes Zoster is continuous and paroxysmal pain, which can occur in any part of the body and is usually worse at night. The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of nerve injury. But if in this period, there are no bubble lesions yet, it is very difficult to reveal the correct diagnosis. Within the development of the disease the symptoms of Herpes Zoster become more defined. However, the rashes sometimes appear just a few days later after the patient feels pain.

Usually after the pain in a few hours or 2-3 days the swollen patches of red color appear and then small vesicles with watery contents appear on them. These bubbles are located in groups and distributed along the nerve fibers. A few days later in a bubble lesions the scabs form and the healing begins over time. Pain can persist from 1 to 6 months.

At Herpes Zoster numbness and tingling are also definitive.

If Herpes Zoster is not treated, the infection can join to start the festering. In more severe cases, the pathological process extends to other parts of the nervous system, a herpes infection with a high temperature occurs, the performance status of the patient gets worse.

After Herpes Zoster the patient often feels the neuralgic pains, which are quite difficult to treat.

Usually there are no damages on the affected areas after Herpes Zoster. But if the disease affected the eye branch of the trigeminal nerve, as a result the corneal inflammation leads to opacification, which can develop up to a white spot.

The most serious complications arise at the dissemination of Herpes Zoster onto the other structures of the nervous system. First and foremost they are the peripheral, when the reflexes are limited or absent at all. Typically, this phenomena disappears in a few weeks, but in some cases they still cause a significant atrophy of muscle tissue (like poliomyelitis).

The neuralgia can also expand, that lasts for a long time. Sometimes surgical intervention is necessary.

The generalized form. Sometimes in a few days after the appearance of localized exanthema single or multiple vesicles appear on all areas of skin and even on mucous membranes, that is often mistakenly regarded Varicella as attaching to Herpes Zoster. In generalized nature of the exanthema, as well as in cases when the localized herpes does not disappear within 2-3 weeks, immunodeficiency or malignant neoplasms should be suspected.
The abortive form. The rapid disappearance of the erythematous-papular rash and the absence of vesicles are definitive.

The bullous form.The vesicles coalesce into large bubbles, the contents of which can be hemorrhagic (the haemorrhagic form). In some cases, multiple vesicles, closely adjacent to each other form a lesion of confluent character in the form of a continuous tape; at its drying a continuous dark eschar (the necrotic form) is formed.
After the first episode of Herpes the remission usually follows; the disease recurrence is observed not more than in several percent of cases. Most patients recover without sequelae, but the neuralgic pain may persist for several months or even years.

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