Shingles Complications

1 in every 4 people who get Shingles will experience 1 or more complications. For some people, Shingles can lead to potentially serious complications. Here are the most common ones.

  • Bacterial infections.

    A Shingles rash can increase your risk for a bacterial infection on the skin.

  • Long-term pain.

    Although the pain of Shingles usually lessens as the rash heals, in some cases the pain can last for months or even years. This long-term nerve pain is called postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN. The risk of developing PHN increases as you get older.

    PHN pain can range from a tender, burning, or throbbing sensation to a stabbing or shooting pain. Or, it can cause mild discomfort that lasts for a few months.

  • Permanent scarring.

    Sometimes, in severe cases of Shingles, a person can end up with permanent scarring.

  • Vision impairment.

    Ophthalmic Shingles is a term for Shingles that occurs in or around the eye. People who have it can suffer from painful eye infections, and in some cases, immediate or delayed vision impairment. If you have Shingles in or near your eye, you should see an eye doctor immediately.

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

    Shingles infections inside or near the ear can cause a complication called Ramsay Hunt syndrome. This is a rare disorder in which facial nerves become paralyzed. Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause hearing and balance problems, as well as weakness of the muscles on the affected side of the face.

If you're at risk for Shingles, you're at risk for its complications. It's time to take the next step.