Herpes zoster on the face in the elderly

BMJ Case Rep. 2014 Oct 19;2014:bcr2013200101. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2013-200101.


Herpes zoster is a localised disease caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus that enters the cutaneous nerve endings during an earlier episode of chicken pox, travels to the dorsal root ganglia, and remains in latent form. The condition is characterised by occurrence of multiple, painful, unilateral vesicles and ulceration, and shows a typical single dermatome innervated by single dorsal root or cranial sensory ganglion. Involvement of three or more dermatomes is known as disseminated zoster and seen in immunocompromised individuals. Complications of herpes zoster include ocular sequelae, bacterial superinfection of the lesions, meningoencephalitis and postherpetic neuralgia. The incidence of herpes zoster increases with age and immunosuppression, therefore prompt management is necessary to avoid morbidity and mortality in these individuals. We present two case reports of herpes zoster, one involving the maxillary and mandibular branches of the trigeminal nerve while the other involves all branches of the trigeminal nerve.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Face / pathology*
  • Face / virology
  • Herpes Zoster / complications
  • Herpes Zoster / drug therapy
  • Herpes Zoster / pathology*
  • Herpes Zoster Oticus / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • Mouth Mucosa / virology
  • Palate / pathology
  • Palate / virology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents