Q. Is it advisable to take Steroids to treat shingles?

Answered by
Dr. Geetha Priyadarsini Kamminana
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 19, 2020 and last reviewed on: Aug 06, 2020

Hi doctor,

My father got shingles and he is 65 years old. He used antivirals till they were completely used, also, he uses Pergabalin, Alfen 100 and Methocarbamol for pain management. Last night, we went to another doctor and he prescribed Hydrocortisone cream and he used it, so, his injury became fresh, I searched online and found out that this cream must not be used for shingles.

Here is my question, he is in his third week and in relation to this new condition, must he use antivirals again? Should he use his pain killers? Also, at nights, his pain becomes worse and he cannot sleep.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Shingles is an extremely painful condition. The use of steroids in shingles (Zoster) is debatable and is a double edged sword, in a few it causes wonders.

Well coming to the current clinical presentation, the reappearance of lesions in the same site may be due to:

1. Recurrence of shingles.

2. Superadded bacterial infection.

If it is recurrent, Antivirals are to be prescribed again to avoid post-herpetic neuralgia. If it is bacterial infection, topical antibiotics have to be used. Stop topical Steroids. Apply normal saline. Pack over the affected area and visit your Doctor. You may Continue the above prescribed combination (as mentioned by you) for pain, not to worry for short term use.

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