Clinical study of herpes zoster in 109 patients in central referral hospital, Gangtok


  • Rukma L. Sharma Department of Dermatology, Sikkim Manipal University, Tadong Gangtok, Sikkim, India
  • Rekha Sharma Department of Dermatology, Sikkim Manipal University, Tadong Gangtok, Sikkim, India



Herpes zoster, Varicella, Gangtok, Sikkim


Background: Herpes zoster results from the reactivation of varicella-zoster virus lying dormant in the dorsal root ganglia following an earlier primary infection (chickenpox), usually in childhood. The reactivation occurs due to multifactorial causes leading to decreased immunity.

Methods: This study was conducted on 109 cases of herpes zoster. Patient’s particulars were noted. A detailed history was recorded; morphology, the site and side of skin lesions were recorded. Any other associated diseases were noted.

Results: Out of 109 patients 66 were male and 43 were female. The total of 53 (48.6%) patients were under the age of 40 years and 56 (51.4%) patients above 40 years. Bhutias were affected in highest number (18.4%) followed by Sharma community (15.6%). The ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve was the most commonly affected single nerve with 13.8% followed by T10 and T7 dermatome at 9.17% and 7.3% respectively. Thoracic nerves the most commonly involved thoracic nerves with 44 cases. Single dermatomal eruptions were found in 55 patients. The dissemination of herpes zoster was although very rare but was present in three patients. Type 2 diabetes mellitus was the common associated systemic illness with 10.09% of patients.

Conclusions: From this study it was revealed that both young adults and older age group people were affected almost equally. The male: female ratio was 1.5:1 with Bhutia community being mostly affected. Thoracic dermatome was the most common dermatome involved and in half the patients some form of associated disease noted.


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