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Dr. Shah
Dr. Shah, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Years of experience in patients' management.
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Is it possible to have a nerve attacked by herpes-zoster

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Is it possible to have a nerve attacked by herpes-zoster without the boils on the skin?
I had chickenpox as a baby, i am 50 years old now , and on the third month of my pregnancy (seventeen years ago) i had an episode of herpes-zoster on my left leg, the boils appearing in my left buttock. For already two days i am having a terrible pain in my left foot and, last night, while lying on my bed, could feel the pain going up the leg...i had some sintoms of a mild cold coincidently.
Welcome to JustAnswer!
Thanks for your question. Please provide me the following information so that I can address your concern appropriately.
Is it a very sharp and sensitive to touch kind of pain? Do you feel any itching, tingling or see any skin rashes? Any swelling?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it is very sharp and sensitive, there is some swelling (wich i noticed when i put my shoes) but there are no rashes on the skin.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the pain is deep inside the left part of my left foot, if you imagine it cut in two lenghtwise
Thank you for the information.
Based on your description, you seem to have a history of Herpes Zoster in the past. Moreover, your current pain is very sharp and sensitive to touch which is typically seen in herpes zoster. Yes, it is possible to have herpes zoster even without any skin rashes, but in most cases pain develop first and skin rashes appear after a few days of pain. The antiviral medications are very effective in reducing the severity and duration of illness. Some other possibility of pain would be trauma, nerve damage, skin infection etc. If you do not feel better or see sign of infection, you can see your doctor.
Please let me know if you have any other question for me.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is it possible to have a nerve injury stepping with a warm foot (just out of a warm bed) on cold floor (it is winter here)?
Nerve damage can be due to wide number of causes such as trauma, diabetes, exposure to toxin, systemic disease, infection, alcoholism, vitamin deficiency, and auto immune problems. In reality, it is often very difficult to pin point the exact cause of nerve damage. Nerve damage due to slight change in temperature is less likely as your body adjust to the new temperature.
I hope these information are helpful to you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Just three more questions: herpes-zoster manifestations can occur several times in life? Should i expect to have more as i get older? what can i do to prevent it?
Thanks for the follow up.
Yes, some people get frequent attack in their life time. The risk of attack increases as you get older and your immune level decreases. For occasional attack antiviral meds are very effective, but for those who gets frequent attack, they may have to take antiviral meds on daily basis to prevent recurrences.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i am taking the medication aciclovir: is it safe to take it even in case i am not diagnosed with herpes zoster?
Well it is always recommended to confirm the diagnosis before you take medication. Based on your description herpes zoster is a very likely possibility, but still confirmation is required as it is a clinical diagnosis. As you are aware of the fact that each and every medication has side effects, but everyone will not develop it. Thus, we always judge the risk and benefits associated with prescription meds. Acyclovir is considered safe to use in herpes zoster and is approved by FDA.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
can the illness be confirmed by a laboratory test?
In most cases, your doctor will confirm the diagnosis based on the history and physical exam. If needed tissue scraping or culture can be done to confirm it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it can't be detected in blood testing?
No, if you want, you can request to detect VZV antibody from blood sample to confirm herpes zoster.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
could you write what "VZV" stands for?(what it means) i am in Brazil, so it will help me. it was the last question. thank you Dr. Shah
I am sorry, VZV stands for Varicella zoster virus, the causative organism for herpes zoster in adults.
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