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Shingles - what now? Red spot w/a few tiny blisters broke out on my forehead friday eve. Started spreading down toward my eye sat. This morning (sun), i went to urgent care. They did visual inspection only and said not a classic presentation, but it's

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Dr. Laura McMullen
Pediatrics

In brief: One

One fourth of all shingles (caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus varicella zoster) infections can affect the eye area.
The mainstay of treatment is starting antiviral medications within 72 hours of the start of infection which it sounds like you have done - that's great! if the symptoms are worsening or if you feel like your vision is being affected, you should either give your doctor a call or go see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for an evaluation right away. There are different additional treatments that can help besides the valacyclovir if the actual eye becomes involved. There is a 15% possibility of transferring chicken pox to your infant son. The ope lesions contain the virus, but once they crust over, you are no longer contagious. Shingles is much less communicable than chicken pox. Good hand washing is key! other good news is that your breastmilk is also going to be somewhat protective for your son with anti-varicella antibodies, so keep breast feeding! some doctors will also recommend the use of vzig (injectable antibodies against varicella virus) and immunization for older infants (9 mos or older). You may want to give your son's doctor a call and see what they recommend. Valacyclovir is a category b drug for pregnancy (b = safe), and is ok to use while breastfeeding, too. (see link below) since your lesions are on your face/ near your eye, you should not stop this medication.

In brief: One

One fourth of all shingles (caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus varicella zoster) infections can affect the eye area.
The mainstay of treatment is starting antiviral medications within 72 hours of the start of infection which it sounds like you have done - that's great! if the symptoms are worsening or if you feel like your vision is being affected, you should either give your doctor a call or go see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for an evaluation right away. There are different additional treatments that can help besides the valacyclovir if the actual eye becomes involved. There is a 15% possibility of transferring chicken pox to your infant son. The ope lesions contain the virus, but once they crust over, you are no longer contagious. Shingles is much less communicable than chicken pox. Good hand washing is key! other good news is that your breastmilk is also going to be somewhat protective for your son with anti-varicella antibodies, so keep breast feeding! some doctors will also recommend the use of vzig (injectable antibodies against varicella virus) and immunization for older infants (9 mos or older). You may want to give your son's doctor a call and see what they recommend. Valacyclovir is a category b drug for pregnancy (b = safe), and is ok to use while breastfeeding, too. (see link below) since your lesions are on your face/ near your eye, you should not stop this medication.
Dr. Laura McMullen
Dr. Laura McMullen
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