Our expert says:
It is probably herpes zoster and it is a viral infection caused by the same virus as chicken pox. This virus tends to lie dormant in your body and later in life cause these rashes in specific areas of the skin ( it lies in the nerve root so moves via the nerve into the dermatome or area that is served by that nerve) It happens when your immunity is low or when you are stressed or after a sickbed. It is treatable with antiviral medication, preferably within 24 hours of you becoming aware of the rash. It is very painful because it comes from and affects the nerve. While the blisters are wet, you can infect people who hasn't had chicken pox before with chicken pox.
For now you can use an anti infective cream or ointment like Bactroban to prevent secondary infection. As soon as the blisters are dry you can try Sloan's liniment on the area for the pain ( do not use on open sores) but you may need a prescription for strong pain tablets in the mean time, so talk to your doctor.
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