The varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes RHS. The virus is the same one that causes
shingles. It stays in the body even after the illness has passed. In some, it can reactivate and cause RHS.
Here are some factors that may raise your risk of RHS:
Having shingles or a history of chickenpox
A weakened immune system
Having people in your family who have had shingles
RHS may cause:
Painful, one-sided red rash in the ear, mouth, or on the tongue
Problems moving one side of your face, with or without a rash—
Herpes zoster oticus. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. Available at: https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/gard/7525/herpes-zoster-oticus/case/28741/case-questions. Updated August 19, 2016. Accessed June 12, 2018.
NINDS herpes zoster oticus information page. National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Herpes-Zoster-Oticus-Information-Page. Updated May 24, 2017. Accessed June 12, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 6/12/2018
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