In people with a weakened immune system, shingles can be life-threatening. You should see your doctor immediately if you think you may have any complications of shingles. He or she can help provide treatment and watch your progress.


Shingles is a skin disorder. It is triggered by the chicken pox virus, which is thought to lie dormant in the spinal cord until later in life. Most often, shingles occurs in people over age 50.

Signs & Symptoms

Pain, itching, or a tingling feeling before a rash appears.

A rash of painful red blisters. These later crust over. Most often, the rash appears on one side of the body or face.

Fever and general weakness can occur.

The crusts fall off, usually within 3 weeks.

Pain can persist in the area of the rash. This usually goes away within 1 to 6 months. Chronic pain called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) can last longer, even for years.

The older you are, the greater the chance that this is the case. The recovery time may also take longer.

Blindness can occur if the eye is affected.

Most cases of shingles are mild.


Herpes zoster virus causes shingles. To get shingles, you must have had the chicken pox. You are more likely to get shingles after an illness or taking any medicines that suppress the immune system. Stress or trauma can also increase the risk for shingles.


If you think you might have shingles, see your doctor right away! He or she can prescribe:


An oral, antiviral medicine. This can make symptoms less severe and help you get better sooner. To help, this medicine needs to be started within 24 to 72 hours after the rash first appears. *

Medicine for pain. This includes over-the-counter pain relievers and capsaicin topical cream. Prescribed medicine may be needed for pain. A skin patch called Lidoderm may be helpful for PHN. *

Other medicines to treat symptoms.

Shingles also effects the nerves.

Post-herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) PHN is the most common complication of shingles.

It is a condition in which severe pain from shingles may last for months, and sometimes years, after the shingles rash has healed.

PHN occurs from damage to the nerve fibers, caused by the varicella zoster virus.

Nerve fibers send messages from the skin to the brain. When nerve fibers are damaged during an outbreak of shingles, they are not able to send messages as they normally do. The body may perceive these "mixed messages" as pain.

Shingles Eye | Shingles in the Eye Information

Shingles eye, also called herpes zoster ophthalmicus, is a more serious skin disease.

Shingles in the eye and on forehead: Occurred in the trigeminal nerve (eye branch), which is around forehead and upper eyelid skin;

Shingles of the eye and on mouth: Sometimes is next to the under eyelids, cheek and upper lip.

Eye Shingles Symptoms

During early outbreak of shingles in the eye, there is serious trigeminal neuralgia, easy to tear-up, watering of the eye, and so on.

Shingles Eyes Signs

A few days later, the skin will become red, swollen, strips of rash appears and then blisters. The blister is transparent at the beginning and then become the turbidity suppuration. After a few weeks, it will scab off.Eye Shingles Treatment

The people with shingles in the eye is suggested to go to see the doctor immediately when you have shingles in eye. As in severe case, it can lead to blindness. Treatment in below is just for your reference.

1. Bed rest; eat the food that digests easily.

2. 1% gentian violet or sprinkle talcum powder.

3. When your shingles eye is severe pain, sedatives and analgesics can be considered.


Ramsay Hunt Syndrome*

The Ramsay Hunt Syndrome occurs when the herpes zoster virus spreads to the facial nerve, which causes intense ear pain. The shingles rash may appear on the outside of the ear, inside the ear canal, around the mouth, on the roof of the mouth, and on the neck, face, and scalp. When the shingles virus affects the facial nerve, hearing loss, dizziness, and facial paralysis may occur, which is usually temporary, but not always. If you experience shingles blisters on your ear, mouth, neck, face, or scalp, see your doctor right away.

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