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Painful headache, cold symptoms, no desire to eat. Cause?

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Here is some information:

- 81 year old female
- cold symptoms started 1 week ago
- painful headache on one side of the head only
- vomiting and dry heaving
- no desire to eat
- stays in bed
- recent development of unusual skin sores or rash on one side of the face only
- extremely painful to touch one side of her head
- picture of face attached

My mother refuses to go see a doctor, but I am concerned the recent skin issue may be an indicator that her situation is extremely serious.

It may or may not be related to the current situation, but she may have cancer. She has multiple lumps in her breasts (plum size) along with large growths in the armpit area. This is on the same side of her body as the recent situation.

I am looking for any insight that you can provide given the limited information, specifically the possible causes of the skin issue.

Thank you.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 28 Doctors Online


Thanks for posting your query at

I can understand your concern.

She has got shingles. Its also called herpes zoster. She needs to given anti viral oral medication called valacyclovir. She will need a prescription for the same from your doctor.

Application of mupurocin cream twice a day for a week will aid in healing. She can be given medications to treat the headache after conferring with her doctor about the suitability in her case. She needs to see a doctor for the lumps in the breast n armpits.

Shingles is caused by the re activation of the varicella zoster virus. It needs treatment at the earliest. If not treated it leaves behind a lot of pain.

Please let me know if you have any queries.

Take care


Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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