Shingles In Children: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Herpes zoster in children, also known in popular parlance as “shingles”, It is a rare viral infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. When children are healthy, the prognosis for this condition is usually good.

However, prompt diagnosis and treatment must be obtained to avoid possible complications. What are your causes? How to recognize the infection? In the following space we solve these questions in detail. Keep reading!

Causes of shingles in children

Shingles can occur in both healthy children and those with underlying immunodeficiency. Its main cause is infection with varicella zoster virus, which lies dormant in the nervous system for the rest of life. As, Anyone who has had chickenpox can also get shingles later on.

However, the onset of the infection in childhood is related to the following:

  • Varicella zoster virus (VZV) intrauterine infection: the increasing incidence of shingles in otherwise healthy children may be due to contracting a primary infection with chicken pox in the uteruswhere immunity is not fully developed.
  • Vaccination with live attenuated viruses: The immune status at the time of the acquisition of the primary infection is the most important determinant in infantile herpes zoster. It has been found Latent varicella zoster virus (VZV) in the dorsal root ganglia of children without a history of chickenpox and without epidermal involvement.
  • Secondary to postnatal exposure to VZV at an early age, in infancy, when the immune system is not fully developed.
  • About 3% of pediatric zoster cases occur in children with malignancies.

According to the information published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Chickenpox in infancy is a risk factor for shingles in children.

child with chickenpox
Shingles in children is caused by infection with the varicella zoster virus. This remains latent and can be reactivated at any point in life.

Read also: Chicken pox

Shingles symptoms in children

Generally, the evolution of the disease is milder in children, with an average duration of 1 to 3 weeks. Those between the ages of 2 and 12 may experience itching and pain in the lesions. However, no acute neuropathic pain was observedwhich is the hallmark of shingles in adults.

The infection is often found in areas such as the trunk and buttocks, although it can also appear on the arms, legs or face. Each child can have different symptoms. Other clinical manifestations are as follows:

  • Skin hypersensitivity in the area where shingles appears.
  • Mild rash, appearing after five days. They look like small red spots at first and then turn into blisters.
  • Blisters that turn yellow and dry.
  • Skin rash that goes away in one to two weeks.
  • Rash localized on one side of the body.

It is important to differentiate herpes zoster from herpes simplex zosteriformis from monomorphic vesicular lesions in the latter, which is more common in children.

Treatment of herpes zoster in children

Treatment options for shingles are based on the child’s age, immune status, symptom duration, and presentation. The goals of the treatment are as follows:

  • Limit gravity.
  • Limit the duration of the pain.
  • Shortens the duration of a shingles episode.
  • Reduce complications.

The first line of treatment for childhood shingles is oral acyclovir.administered four times a day. Also, you can start topical antibiotic treatment and fomentations with zinc sulphate to prevent superinfections.

Children who develop ophthalmic shingles should receive oral acyclovir because of its documented effects about complications, such as anterior uveitis or stromal keratitis.

Treatment of herpes zoster in children
Although oral acyclovir treatment is the first choice against shingles, a topical antibiotic may also be prescribed.

Precautions of self-medication with aspirin

Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is the preferred antipyretic agent due to the association of aspirin with Reye’s syndrome (sudden onset encephalopathy and life-threatening liver dysfunction).

Also due to an epidemiological link between ibuprofen and an increased risk of invasive group A streptococcal disease in the context of chickenpox, although not causally.

Important considerations for shingles

Shingles in children is a non-contagious disease. But nevertheless, Anyone who has the disease can pass the chickenpox virus to someone who hasn’t had it yet. It has been determined that this spread is caused only by direct contact with the blisters.

The symptoms of this infection can resemble those of other skin conditions. A doctor should always be consulted for an accurate diagnosis.

Post Shingles in Children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments first appeared in research-school.



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