Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS), also known as herpes zoster oticus, is a rare yet severe condition that causes facial weakness or paralysis, and a rash on the outer ear.

The same virus that causes chickenpox and shingles, the varicella zoster virus (VZV), can spread and affect the facial nerve, which controls movement of each side of the face. The virus also causes the ear to break out in a serious, painful rash.


  • Severe ear pain with vesicles in the ear
  • Transient or permanent facial paralysis (resembling Bell palsy)Uploaded Image
  • Vertigo lasting days to weeks
  • Hearing loss (which may be permanent or which may resolve partially or completely
  • Decreased movement of one side of the face
  • Painful rash with fluid-filled blisters on the ear skin and ear canal
  • Hearing loss, ringing in the ear
  • Vertigo
  • Dry mouth, dry eyes
  • Change in taste

DIAGNOSIS -  Herpes zoster oticus usually is clinical.


If it is not treated well in time then it can lead to some complications. Its first complication is postherpetic neuralgia (it refers to pain that last for months together after the shingles rash has healed due to damage to the affected nerves. The pain is attended with sensitivity to touch the affected area). Next complication is permanent hearing loss, facial weakness or facial paralysis. Last complication is damage to the eye (this results from difficulty in closing the eyelid from muscle weakness that can lead to eye dryness and damage the cornea causing eye pain and blurred vision).


Mezereum – For blisters with brown scabs It is a well indicated medicine for treating blisters on the skin. In cases needing it the blisters are covered with brownish scab. There is itching on the affected skin. After scratching burning is felt on the skin. These symptoms worsen from touch and in bed. Pain is also marked with these symptoms. Lastly it is a valuable medicine to manage nerve pain that persist even after healing of the blisters (post herpetic neuralgia.

Rhus Tox – For fluid filled blisters This medicine is prominent for cases in which there are fluid filled blisters on skin. These are itchy. In cases that require it initially itching and burning begin. This worsens from touching or moving the affected parts. A sensation of needles piercing the skin is also felt. Following this blisters appear on the red and inflamed skin. Other than blisters it also offers help to manage neck pain.

Causticum – To manage facial weakness and facial paralysis facial weakness and facial paralysis. Drooling of saliva is there where it is required. This gets worse after eating. Persons needing it also have herpetic eruptions on the ear – lobe and behind the ears. Next they may also have ringing or roaring noises in the ears.

Sepia – For herpes behind ears and on lobe of ears herpetic eruptions behind  the ears and on the lobe of the ears. In some cases these eruptions may spread to the nape of the neck. Sometimes humming noises in the ears may be present. Next there can be stitching type of pain in the ears. Lastly, over sensitivity to noise may be there.

Oleander – For eruptions in and around the ears herpes eruptions occur in and around the ears. There may be oozing from these eruptions. These may be itchy too. They may also be sensitive to touch.

Merc Sol – For eruptions burning when touched eruptions burn on being touched. These eruptions are small and transparent containing watery fluid. These are attended with large scales on the edges. The eruptions have itching in them. In some cases the eruptions form dry spots or crusts. Along with above symptoms stitching, tearing or burning pains may be felt in the ear. This pain may extend to the cheek also.

Kreosote – When ear herpes relieves from warmth herpetic eruptions in ears that are relieved from warmth. There is a tendency of worsening of the eruptions in the evening time where it is required. It may also worsen in the open air. In some of the cases needing it the herpes may also be present on the eyelids, cheeks and around the mouth.

Teucrium – For dry herpes with white scales eruptions are dry and covered with white scales. For using this medicine the eruptions can be present on and behind the ears. Along with this tearing, shooting or lancinating pain in the ear can be there. Other than this hissing or roaring noises can be heard in the ears.

Psorinum – When herpes spread from side of head over the ears and cheek herpes eruptions spread from side of the head over the ears and cheeks. The eruptions can discharge yellow fluid. These eruptions are painful. Sometimes there can be excessive scaling over the eruptions. The eruptions may also itch intolerably. Lastly there may be humming or buzzing noises felt in the ears.

Graphites – Another medicine for managing facial paralysis facial paralysis. The face muscles are distorted where it is required. With this difficulty in speech is present.

Belladonna – To manage ear pain managing ear pain. Persons needing it may have tearing, stitching or shooting pain in the ears. It may be accompanied with difficulty in hearing. In some cases there occurs roaring, humming in the ears. The roaring may be attended with vertigo.

Chininum Sulph – To manage noises in ear ringing, buzzing or roaring noises in the ear. This can be accompanied with difficulty in hearing.

Conium – For managing vertigo It proves highly beneficial for managing vertigo episodes. The key features for using it are vertigo felt when turning the head or when lying in the bed. For using it the vertigo may also worsen from slight noise.