Someone with shingles usually has had chickenpox in their past. This same virus hangs around in certain nerve roots in the body after chickenpox and then is reactivated. The rash tends to be localized and follows the direction of a nerve. The typical course of the disease is mild, so using medication in generally healthy children is not usually necessary. The medication is reserved for those individuals with known immune problems and/or severe disease involving more than just the skin. The severity of shingles increases as patients age. We rarely see the pain or eye problems that can complicate the disease in children.
Treating the symptoms usually is all that is necessary. Supportive treatment with soothing, drying lotions may be helpful. Medicine by mouth to relieve itching works well. Watch for superinfection with bacteria germs caused by scratching the skin. Remember, too, that someone with shingles is contagious to someone who has never had chickenpox.