7 measures to take care of patients with herpes zoster

In agreement with the Herpes Zóster Latin America Working Group, sponsored by FIDEC, a non-profit American organization, which provides resources to develop programs for the fight against infectious diseases in emerging countries, and FUNCEI, Foundation of the Center for Infectious Studies, propose a series of tips for people who care for patients with herpes zoster or postherpetic neuralgia.

Among these measures, designed to alleviate the pain of the loved one and simplify their task, include:


  1. Consult the doctor as soon as the first symptoms appear (pain, itching, burning) or signs (redness, papules or vesicles). Early treatment, within 2 or 3 days of the beginning of the alteration, reduces the severity of the condition and reduces the possibility of continuing pain after the healing of the lesions.
  2. Keep away from the patient with shingles, those people who have not had chickenpox or have not been vaccinated against it. Although herpes zoster is not very contagious, someone in such circumstances can develop it because both diseases are caused by the same virus
  3. Ask the doctor what are the most appropriate treatments to relieve pain. Sometimes, if the pain is unbearable, it would be important to consult with a pain specialist or resort to acupuncture
  4. Stimulate the good nutrition of the patient since the pain diminishes the appetite
  5. Treat insomnia with the appropriate medication and indicated by the doctor
  6. If the clothing makes the patient uncomfortable, suggest that he wear the least amount of clothing possible
  7. The pain can make a person moody and depressed, and even provoke violent situations. Staying calm and thinking that aggression is not really directed at you is the best advice.

If you are in the care of a person with postherpetic neuralgia, specialists recommend:

- Consult the doctor if the pain treatment is not working. Each patient responds differently to a certain medication; The doctor can increase the dose, change the drugs to relieve pain or eventually recommend a pain specialist. It is important to inform the doctor if new symptoms appear since some pain medications may have adverse effects, especially in older people who follow another type of medication.

- Keep the theme of clothing in mind, loose and fresh, or, in case of cold, patients should stay warm.

- When approaching to touch the patient, avoid doing it in the areas where the pain is concentrated and stimulate it to eat correctly and to rest enough.

- Do not be careless. As a caregiver you also need adequate food, enough rest and exercise relaxation techniques. Do not give up your social life, even if it means leaving the patient alone for a few hours. Try to maintain or start activities that give you pleasure and that you enjoy.

Video Medicine: Shingles (August 2022).