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Honolulu, HI
A 45-year-old male asked:

would shingles vaccine help prevent recurrence of bell's palsy? i've had bell's twice already. i'm healthy 45 yr old male.

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology 44 years experience
It might.: There is evidence that bell's palsy can be triggered by the virus that causes shingles, so zostavax might help prevent further episodes. That said, bell's has been linked to many other viruses as well - so if your bell's is being triggered by some other virus, zostavax won't help. It's worth getting, though, because it will at least protect you against shingles, which is no picnic either.
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dermatology 32 years experience
Herpes simplex: As far back as 1970, herpes simplex 1 was suggested as a cause of bell's palsy (dr. Kedar adour). Some bells palsy must still be designated as idiopathic, but a 1995 study (dr. Shingo murakami and others) points compellingly to the herpes simplex virus (hsv-1) as the most frequent cause of bell's palsy, possibly accounting for at least 60 - 70% of cases. Additional research supports this.
Dr. John Hoffmann
Plastic Surgery 38 years experience
Not likely: While shingles virus can cause facial paralysis and serious problems in the face and eyes, most cases of bell's palsy are not due to the shingles virus. You should discuss the reasons for the shingles vaccine with your doctor.

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Last updated Sep 4, 2019
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