Other Health Problems Due To Shingles
Some people develop other health problems after the shingles rash clears, which include:
Postherpetic neuralgia : This is the most common. Occurring where you had the rash, PHN can cause constant tingling, burning, and pain. For others, the pain comes and goes.
Whether the pain is constant or intermittent, it can go on for a long time. You can have PHN for months, years, or the rest of your life. There is no way to know how long it will last.
The pain caused by PHN can become so severe that it interferes with your life, making everyday activities painful. A musician may no longer be able to play an instrument. Some people cannot walk comfortably. It may be difficult to bathe or get dressed. You may have trouble sleeping.
How to prevent PHN: If you have shingles, you can greatly reduce your risk of PHN by getting treated for shingles within 3 days of developing the rash.
Get treated for shingles within 3 days of developing the rash
Taking antiviral medication within 3 days of getting the shingles rash can: Reduce your risk of developing PHN Ease symptoms of shingles Clear the shingles rash more quickly
Other health problems that can develop after the shingles rash clears include:
Blindness or loss of some eyesight
Although rare, some people die of shingles.
Treatment can prevent these complications.
You can find out if you have a greater risk of developing shingles at, Shingles: Causes.
Shingles Vaccine Side Effects
The shingles vaccine has not been shown to cause any serious side effects or health consequences. Minor side effects of the vaccine include redness, swelling, soreness, or itching at the site of injection, and headache. It is safe for those who have received the shingles vaccine to be around babies or those with weakened immune systems. It has not been shown that a person can develop chickenpox from getting the shingles vaccine, although some people who receive the vaccine may develop a mild chickenpox-like rash near the injection site. This rash should be kept covered and will disappear on its own.
Am I At Risk For Shingles
Everyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for developing shingles. Researchers do not fully understand what makes the virus become active and cause shingles. But some things make it more likely:
- Older age. The risk of developing shingles increases as you age. About half of all shingles cases are in adults age 60 or older. The chance of getting shingles becomes much greater by age 70.
- Trouble fighting infections. Your immune system is the part of your body that responds to infections. Age can affect your immune system. So can HIV, cancer, cancer treatments, too much sun, and organ transplant drugs. Even stress or a cold can weaken your immune system for a short time. These all can put you at risk for shingles.
Most people only have shingles one time. However, it is possible to have it more than once.
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Other Complications Of Shingles
If the shingles rash appears around the eye or forehead, it can cause eye infections and temporary or permanent loss of vision. If the shingles virus attacks the ear, people may develop hearing or balance problems. In rare cases, the shingles virus may attack the brain or spinal cord. These complications can often be prevented by beginning treatment for shingles as soon as possible.
What Does A Shingles Rash Look Like At First
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.
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S Of Shingles On The Scalp
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How Long Does Shingles On The Scalp Last
Not every case of scalp shingles lasts for the same amount of time. It will depend on your immune health. Even in people with healthy immune systems, shingles can last for weeks.
Lets examine the different stages of shingles, and how long each lasts:
So, from start to finish, shingles usually lasts anywhere from two to six weeks.
Shingles On Scalp And Neck
Shingle is an infection that causes pain and rash along a band of skin supplied by the affected nerve. This condition affects any of the parts of the body and is common in the neck, face and around eyes. The virus causing shingles leads to swelling on one side of the neck, under the jaw or behind ear.
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Proper Treatment For The Scalp When Infected With Shingles
When you are infected with shingles and the infection has reached the scalp or hair, proper scalp and hair treatment is necessary. Below are some of the scalp and hair care strategies that you can try to alleviate the pain brought by the viral infection.
- Use cold compresses or apply cold water to the affected area on the scalp. Put it directly on the rash to lower the pain and itchiness.
- Apply menthol lotion or soothing cream to your head to give it a relaxing feel.
- Avoid the use of soaps or shampoos with a high chemical content. Scented soaps and shampoos may worsen your condition.
- Use warm water when taking a shower or washing your head. Do not use hot water as it will cause more pain.
- Do no scrub or scratch your scalp when taking a shower. Gently use your fingertips, not the nails, when you want to massage your scalp.
- Towel dry your hair gently after washing.
- As much as possible, do not brush or comb your hair anymore than necessary. But if you need to, do it gently without scraping the scalp area.
- Avoid using hair solutions with high chemical content such as gel, spray net, mousse, and the like.
- Visit a dermatologist and have your scalp checked on a regular basis. Your doctor will normally prescribe ointments or scalp cream to alleviate the pain and itchiness of your scalp.
- Anti-viral medicines prescribed by your doctor can also help reduce the spread of the viral infection.
How Long Does Shingles Last
Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks.
- The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
- Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
- A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
- About one week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
- A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.
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Can Shingles Make You Tired
Experiencing extreme fatigue is a symptom of suffering from shingles and is common in patients.
Even after you are on the road to healing, you might experience pain for a long time afterward, which can also cause fatigue.
This lingering pain is a phenomenon known as PHN postherpetic neuralgia. This can cause long-term pain, which might last for days, weeks, and even years.
Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 As Soon As You Suspect Shingles
You might need medicine to help speed up your recovery and avoid longer-lasting problems.
This works best if taken within 3 days of your symptoms starting.
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
Get an urgent GP appointment
A GP may be able to treat you.
Ask your GP surgery for an urgent appointment.
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Hearing Loss And Facial Weakness
Complications of herpes zoster oticus and Ramsay Hunt syndrome might include hearing loss and facial weakness. For most people, these are temporary symptoms, but it is possible for the damage to become permanent, especially if shingles is left untreated.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome accounts for up to 12% of facial paralysis. In some cases, it has a worse outcome than Bells palsya condition that causes temporary weakness in the muscles of the face.
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How Does It Occur
If you have had chickenpox, you are at risk for later developing shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays in your body. It moves to the roots of your nerve cells and becomes inactive . Later, if the virus becomes active again, shingles is the name given to the symptoms it causes.
What exactly causes the virus to become active is not known. A weakened immune system seems to allow reactivation of the virus. This may occur with normal aging, immune-suppressing medicines, or another illness, or after major surgery. It can also happen as a complication of cancer or AIDS or treatment of these illnesses. Chronic use of steroid drugs may trigger shingles. The virus may also become active again after the skin is injured or sunburned. Emotional stress seems to be a common trigger as well.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Take a pain-relief medicine such as acetaminophen. Take other medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Put cool, moist washcloths on the rash.
- Rest in bed during the early stages if you have fever and other symptoms.
- Try not to let clothing or bed linens rub against the rash and irritate it.
- You develop worsening pain or fever.
- You develop a severe headache, stiff neck, hearing loss, or changes in your ability to think.
- The blisters show signs of bacterial infection, such as increasing pain or redness, or milky yellow drainage from the blister sites.
- The blisters are close to the eyes or you have pain in your eyes or trouble seeing.
- You have trouble walking.
Who Should Not Get The Vaccine
Do not get the shingles vaccine if:
- You have a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis, to any ingredient of a vaccine or to a previous dose of Shingrix
- You have shingles now.
You are sick with an illness and a fever of 101Â°F or higher.
- You should also consider delaying the vaccine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough is known about its safety for expectant and lactating women.
- You have had a negative test for varicella this would be uncommon for adults eligible for the vaccine, as most adults worldwide ages 50 and older have been exposed to the virus. You do not have to be tested before getting the vaccine.
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Shingles On Your Face
Shingles usually occurs on one side of your back or chest, but you can also get a rash on one side of your face.
If the rash is close to or in your ear, it can cause an infection that could lead to:
- loss of hearing
- issues with your balance
- weakness in your facial muscles
Shingles inside your mouth can be very painful. It may be difficult to eat and may affect your sense of taste.
A shingles rash on your scalp can cause sensitivity when you comb or brush your hair. Without treatment, shingles on the scalp can lead to permanent bald patches.
Causes Of Shingles On Scalp
Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox known as the varicella-zoster virus.
If youre currently suffering from shingles, chances are you recovered from chickenpox earlier, and the virus then remains dormant in the body and revives if triggered somehow.
But therere additional risk factors such as:
- An illness that weakens your immunity
- Undergoing cancer treatment
- Prolonged stress or infection
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Stroke And Other Brain Ailments
In addition to shinglesâ telltale rash, neurological symptoms develop quickly and can include headaches, vomiting, fever, and confusion. This could be because varicella zoster virus sits on a nerve. âThat nerve cell body has an arm that has contact with the skin, but it also has another arm that goes directly to the brain,â explains Dr. Mukerji. âWhen the virus goes to the brain, it can cause meningitis, encephalitis, or stroke.â
So, while shingles resulting in brain conditions is rare, it can increase your risk for stroke. Case in point: A 2016 review of epidemiological studies published in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases found that during the year after a shingles bout, the risk of stroke increased 59%, and this risk was highest among those under 40.
In addition, shingles can also cause swelling in the brain and seizures, both of which can lead to serious and permanent complications.
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Shingles Affecting The Scalp
Shingles is characterized by a visible rash or blisters that you may develop. The rash and blisters are said to be painful and can cause depression as they are definitely not nice to look at. While the pain can be lessened by medications, the other complications this virus brings can really cause a lot of inconvenience to the infected individual.
In addition to the items above, shingles can be hard to manage if it has started to affect your scalp and hair. It usually happens when the rash reaches the scalp. Proper scalp care and gentle hair treatments are ways to prevent any permanent damage to your scalp and hair.
In general, if you are infected with the virus that causes shingles, you can develop a rash on any part of your body, but it is normally localized or concentrated on one area like the neck or the face. Aside from the rash, you may also develop blisters.
When both reach the scalp, it can make the scalp sensitive and will lead to difficult grooming. The viral infection may also leave you with bald patches if treatment is not properly performed.
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