A 29-year-old male presented to Primary Care with a painless vesicular rash whose distribution corresponded with the dermatome supplied by the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve. The rash was determined to be caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, also known as the chickenpox virus. Reactivation of varicella zoster virus, commonly referred to as shingles, causes a unilateral and usually painful vesicular rash isolated to a single dermatome. The rash is sometimes preceded by tingling, burning, or aching sensations. Ideally the condition is treated within the first 72 h of symptom onset with the antiviral valacyclovir. Lesions tend to resolve within 2 weeks after treatment is initiated; however, a minority of patients develop postherpetic neuralgia.
KeywordsHerpes Zoster Shingles Varicella zoster virus Trigeminal nerve Vesicles Vesicular rash Dermatome Valacyclovir Acyclovir Postherpetic neuralgia
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