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December 1973

Post-Herpes Zoster Neuralgia: Response to Vitamin E Therapy

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Arch Dermatol. 1973;108(6):855-856. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620270071023

To the Editor.—  The pain accompanying herpes zoster may be severe at times, requiring heavy sedation, but it is usually self-limited, disappearing in a matter of weeks as the eruption heals. In older people and in cases with scarring eruptions, the pain may persist for months, and in some cases for years, causing almost unbearable discomfort and loss of sleep.Other than nerve-block procedures, there has been no effective treatment for the refractory post-herpes zoster neuralgia except for the method recently recommended by Epstein,1 which consists of the subcutaneous injection of triamcinolone in lidocaine (Xylocaine) into the areas of involvement. While this treatment produces relief in many cases, the technique is cumbersome, requiring multiple injections that frequently have to be repeated. Pain, subcutaneous hemorrhage, vertigo, and in one case, a sterile abscess were some of the complications noted by Epstein.During the past four years, we have treated 13

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