This photograph shows clusters of blisters (vesicles) and redness (erythema) caused by herpes zoster (shingles). The pattern follows a "dermatome" (see the dermatome picture). The area may burn or sting before the appearance of these vesicles. Early treatment with acyclovir (within 24 hours of the appearance of the vesicles) may prevent progression or reduce the time the infection is active (duration).
Review Date: 5/30/2012 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.