Q. What is the reason for severe headache and burning hives in the head?

Answered by
Dr. Ashwini. V. Swamy
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 29, 2022 and last reviewed on: Nov 10, 2022

Hi doctor,

Four days ago, I started having a headache in the middle of my head. I took the tablet Aleve, and it allowed the function to work. However, two days ago, I developed hives on my forehead and part of my eyelid. My skin swelled and set dry and burned more than itched. It has now been four days the hives/bums are in the hair on top of my head. I have pictures of the initial breakout (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity).



Welcome to

Your description points towards Herpes zoster, a reaction of varicella-zoster virus, which initially presents with a painful tingling sensation, then breaks out into a group of blisters, limiting to one half of the body. I can see redness over the forehead's left side in the picture. Unfortunately, I need help appreciating finer details as the picture becomes blurred when I zoom in. Please attach images taken in good daylight. Do you have blisters now? Are you on any immunosuppressive therapy? Was there any recent surgery? Illness? Trauma? Is the right side of the forehead also involved? If it is a Herpes zoster, you should be treated with antiviral as soon as possible, preferably within 72 hours of tingling or any first symptom like pain/tingling. Otherwise, it will leave behind bad pain, called post-herpetic neuralgia.

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