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Child has shingles. Given steroid pack, valtrex and ciprodex drops. Blisters in body. What is happening?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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If we want a specialist to check my son's ear ..has had shingles just is bad in his ear....has been to regular dr and has been on medication.....would he see an ear specialist or a dermatologist?
He was treated by our dr and given a 6day steroid pack, Valtrex, pain medication and recently ciprodex ear drops. The breakout of blisters occurred about 2-1-12 and was in his mouth, around side of mouth and ear, scalp and inside his ear. Dr said it was the worst case he has seen. Still has pain and his ear is still pretty bad. We know the shingles inside the ear take longer to heal as they are XXXXXXX Our dr is out of town and I need your advise on what specialist to ear specialist or a dermatologist.

Thank you.
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 34 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

It is very unfortunate that the infection is not responding to the traditional treatment regimen. The reason could be the superimposed bacterial infection. Hence he would also require antibiotics alongside the antiviral drugs.

This is a case wherein you will require the help of both the doctors to treat effectively. The dermatologist is required to treat the overall part of it and ENT specialist for regular ear cleaning and application of cream containing steroid an antibiotic. Regular aural toileting by an ENT specialist will help prevent further complications in the ear.

As this is a viral infection and a self-limiting one, you need to improve the nutrition of your son to combat this.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has shingles. Given steroid pack, valtrex and ciprodex drops. Blisters in body. What is happening? 16 hours later
Thank you for your response. Just to clarify something.......a person with shingles wanting to be treated by a specialist ..... The specialist would be a dermatologist?
Then if the shingles were also in the ear the dermatologist more than likely would recommend the patient see an ear specialist also because it can affect hearing, etc., which now goes into another specialized area.

I assume you have seen patients with shingles in the ear as you are an ENT. When the shingles are also in the ear which takes longer to heal.......time wise can you give me an estimated time frame on the healing process in the ear for someone who is on the right medications and ear drops as my son is (I realize cases are different). We will get him to the ear specialist next week for continued treatment as they see is necessary.

Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 4 hours later

Welcome back.

In an uncomplicated case of Shingles of the ear, it usually subsides within a span of 7-10days. But if at all it is secondarily infected then it requires appropriate antibiotics along with the antiviral medicines and supportive treatment. Sometimes, it will be necessary to take a swab from the area of discharge and send it for lab to do culture and sensitivity of the organisms involved.

Secondly, this condition is generally treated by either internists or dermatologist. Most of the times Shingles is seen in immune-compromised individuals and elderly individuals, hence during that time an internist takes over the case and if it is seen in a normal healthy individual then dermatologist’s consultation are sought. But, if it is involving the ear then the help of an ENT specialist is required for aural toilet and examination of the ear canal and tympanic membrane.

Hope I have answered your query; I wish him good health.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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