If the rash involves the ear, it can lead to hearing loss, imbalance, and weakness of the facial muscles. Shingles rash on the scalp causes pain while combing or brushing and bald patches. Shingles can occur in the mouth and are usually very painful, causing pain while eating and change in taste.
- Shingles of the eye and forehead
Rash and blisters appear around the eye, over the eyelids and one side of the forehead, extending to the tip of the nose. Patients present with burning or throbbing in the eye, with watering of the eyes, swelling, and blurred vision.
Pain may be present after the rash disappears due to nerve damage but eventually improves. Without treatment, it can lead to corneal damage and vision loss.
- Shingles on the waist and back
Rash and blisters appear on one side of the waist and back in a stripe pattern, extending up to the lower back.
- Shingles on the buttocks
Shingles rash and blisters appear on the buttocks, usually on one side.
What is shingles?
What are the risk factors of shingles?
If patients have had a history of chickenpox, the risk of reactivation of the chickenpox virus as shingles includes the following:
What are the signs and symptoms of shingles?
The signs and symptoms of shingles typically occur on one side of the face or body. The common signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain (usually the first symptom in shingles and can vary in intensity)
- Burning sensation, numbness or tingling and itching
- Raised red rash that usually appears a few days after the pain
- Multiple blisters that appear in a stripe pattern
- Blisters that contain fluid and break open with crusting
- Fever, chills, fatigue and body ache
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light) if the facial rash is present
How is shingles treated?
Treatment is most effective when started within 72 hours of the appearance of a rash. Antiviral drugs (acyclovir, valacyclovir, etc.) can help patients recover faster and reduce the risk of complications.
Shingles rash and blisters can cause severe pain and may not be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication. Treatment of pain includes:
- Anti-seizure medicines
- Cool compresses
- Medicated lotions to reduce pain and itching
- Numbing creams
- Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Prescription painkillers such as codeine for intense pain
- Prevention: A vaccine is available against the varicella-zoster virus to prevent chickenpox and shingles.
What are the complications of shingles?
Shingles can have complications that last long after the rash is gone. Complications can also occur if the infection has not been treated appropriately:
- Postherpetic neuralgia: Pain that lasts long after the infection resolves.
- Facial nerve paralysis if the nerve supplying the face is affected.
- Loss of vision if the cornea is affected.
- Loss of hearing and balance problems.
- Infection of the brain in patients with severe suppression of the immune system such as HIV or transplant patients.
- Bacterial infection of the skin that causes increased swelling, redness, warmth, pain, tenderness, and pus formation.
Latest Skin News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Does a Shingles Rash Look Like at First? Related Articles
Are Hives and Rash the Same Thing?Learn how to tell the difference between a rash and hives and how to treat both.
Chickenpox (Varicella)Chickenpox (chicken pox) is a contagious childhood disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Symptoms have an incubation period of 14 to 16 days and include a couple days of mild fever, weakness, and red, raised rash that progresses to blisters that eventually burst and crust over. Complications include bacterial infection of the open sores, scarring, encephalitis, nerve palsies, and Reye's syndrome.
Chickenpox QuizHow is chickenpox related to shingles? Take the Chickenpox Quiz to assess your IQ of this itchy, blistering childhood skin disease.
What's the Difference Between Chickenpox and Shingles?Learn about the differences between chickenpox and shingles and how these two diseases are connected.
How Long Is Shingles Contagious?Shingles is contagious from the time the blisters are oozing until the time the blisters have scabbed.
Is Chickenpox Contagious?Chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. Chickenpox symptoms and signs include a blistering, itchy rash, fatigue, fever, and tiredness. Chickenpox is transmitted via contaminated droplets produced during sneezing or coughing and by coming in contact with blister fluid.
Is Shingles Contagious?Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Shingles symptoms and signs include skin burning, numbness, and tingling along with a painful red, blistering rash. Shingles is contagious until all of the blisters have crusted over.
ShinglesShingles, or herpes zoster, is a painful rash caused by the varicella zoster virus. Other shingles symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, and body aches. Treatment focuses on pain management and shortening the duration of the illness with antiviral medications.
Shingles QuizShingles falls within a well-known family of viruses that cause itching, burning, blisters, and pain. Take the Shingles Quiz to get the facts, causes, symptoms, and treatments for this itchy, painful condition.
What Happens When You Get Shingles When Pregnant?Becoming infected with chickenpox during pregnancy could cause birth defects in your unborn child. Likewise, shingles could also cause problems for your unborn child. If you are pregnant and haven't had chickenpox, avoid exposure to infected people. Zostavax, the shingles vaccine, can reduce the incidence of shingles by half. Women should wait at least three months after receiving the vaccine before trying to get pregnant.
Shingles PicturesAn acute infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus as causes chickenpox. See a picture of Shingles and learn more about the health topic.
ShinglesShingles occurs when the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox, re-emerges due to a weakened immune system. Tingling may occur before herpes zoster blisters appear, usually on the side of the body. The shingles vaccine can boost the immune system to lower the risk of shingles outbreaks.
Shingles Myths and FactsThere are some common misconceptions about this viral illness and the uncomfortable rash it can cause. Here's a guide through the myths and facts of shingles.
Skin Problems: Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 RashesLearn to spot and treat skin conditions commonly found in adults such as acne, Covid-19 rashes, eczema, shingles, psoriasis, rosacea, hives, cold sores, razor bumps, athlete's foot, and more dermatology details.
What Causes You to Get Shingles?Shingles (herpes zoster) is caused by varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Sometimes, in patients with a history of chickenpox, the virus may live in the nervous system for years in an inactive form, and then reactivate as shingles.
What Triggers a Shingles Outbreak?Shingles occur when the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus responsible for chickenpox, reactivates in the body, usually due to a weakened immune system. Learn about the symptoms of shingles and how you can treat them.