Q. Is herpes zoster dangerous?

Answered by
Dr. Sampada Avinash Thakare
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 17, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

My mother was diagnosed to have herpes zoster. Also, her doctor says that the herpes has caused ulcers. I would like to know in how much time it will heal? Is herpes zoster a dangerous one?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

As you know, Herpes zoster is a viral infection. It takes 7 to 10 days for the lesions to heal.

But, in patients who are diabetic, old age, secondarily infected and with an incomplete antiviral dose or seropositive it can take up to 15 days to get cured.

In elderly age group even after the skin lesions heal the patient might experience intense pain in that particular area. It is called as postherpetic neuralgia.

Kapsi gel can be applied (Capsaicin) once the skin is completely healed to relieve pain. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with consent.

How many days before she was diagnosed? What is her age? Please send images of the area.

Revert back with the answers to the above questions to a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

I have sent the images. Please check.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Is the patient bedridden? It looks more like bedsores. Her present image does not look like herpes zoster.
  • But, the other factors like I mentioned improper antiviral medication, old age and secondary infection, which is present in this case can lead to this.
  • Check for blood sugar levels also.

For further information consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

No, she is not bedridden. Also, her blood sugar reports are normal.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Happy to know that her blood sugar level is fine.

  • These kind of ulcers in herpes zoster can be present if the patient is immunocompromised. Differential diagnosis can be trophic ulcers (painless ulcer goes deep into the skin).
  • In any case, the management of the ulcer is the goal at present along with the present treatment plan.
  • Platelet rich plasma (PRP) has shown good results in healing of ulcers. Please consult your doctor regarding this.

For further doubts consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Thank you doctor,

What is platelet rich plasma?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Platelets have growth factors, which help in better healing of ulcers.
  • In PRP procedure, the patient's blood sample is taken and platelets are separated by centrifugation.

For further information consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

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