shingles on the face

Basic Guide to Having Shingles on the Face

Shingles on the face is a painful condition that can affect anyone, but most often occurs in older adults. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the very same virus the causes chickenpox. Shingles causes an outbreak of blisters filled with fluid on just a single side of your body. Shingles are not contagious to other people, but they may be contagious to people who have never had chickenpox or shingles before. The good news about having shingles on the face is that treatment options exist. Read this article for more information about symptoms and treatment options for people with shingles on their faces.

Shingles on the face

Zoster, or shingles, is a viral infection that affects the nerves of your skin. Zoster sores are painful rashes that generally appear on one side of the chest and back. Shingles may also affect just one side of the face, particularly around the eye area. The illness can be quite uncomfortable, and if left untreated, it can have serious consequences. There is no cure for shingles; however, early treatment might reduce your risk of major problems.

Symptoms of shingles on the face

senior man feeling unwell

The initial signs of shingles on your face may be a tingling, burning, or itching sensation in the specific body part where the rash will later develop. You might also feel tired and generally unwell. A few days after these initial symptoms appear, you will see a rash that looks like chickenpox. The shingles rash is made up blisters filled with fluid that eventually crust over and scab. Blisters can form on just a single side of the head, around one eye, or on both sides of the face.

The shingles virus is quite contagious and can passed on to people who have never developed chickenpox or shingles before. If you are infected with shingles, it’s important to keep the rashes covered with clothing or a bandage so that you don’t spread shingles to another person. Once shingles appears on your face, it is possible for the virus to affect one eye and cause blurry vision.

What do shingles on the face look like?

The rash appears as a cluster of tiny blisters or tumors. The rash generally develops in one location rather than in several locations on the face as areas of blistering.

Shingles affects only one side of the face. Shingles is not caused by makeup, UV exposure, or an allergy.

Shingles does not spread via contact, unlike other rashes. After the initial outbreak, some people develop extra blisters. The blisters may appear to be near the site of the original rash or elsewhere.

The rash begins as painful blisters that may later crack, ooze, and scab over. Shingles is a viral disease that causes painful blisters on one or more areas of the body.

What causes shingles?

Shingles is caused by the very same virus that brings about chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus. If you have shingles, it means your immune system has been weakened and is unable to prevent shingles from developing in nerves of your skin. Shingles can develop at any age after exposure to a person with shingles or chickenpox, but majority of people who get shingles are over 50 years old. It’s also unclear why some people get shingles mainly on their faces.

Complications of shingles

Shingles can cause a nasty complication called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). This is a complication that may occur when shingles affects the nerves. Though rare, PHN can also be life-threatening because it can cause pneumonia or blood poisoning through damaged skin.

Mouth

Having shingles on one side or corner of mouth can cause a painful sore that makes it difficult to eat. Sometimes, it also affects the sense of taste.

Eyes

Eye shingles is a very severe problem. The virus can affect your outer and inner eyes, including the cornea and nerve cells that react to light. It can result in blindness if not treated properly, as shown by a 2013 study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. The early signs include:

  • vision issues
  • puffiness
  • infection
  • redness
  • swelling

In extreme cases, shingles can lead to long-term eye damage such as:

  • Scarring on the cornea (the clear front window of your eye)
  • Cataracts (a clouding of the lens of your eye that leads to blurred vision)
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the inner layer of your eye that can cause permanent vision loss if not treated promptly)

Ears

Shingles near or in the ear can cause infections that can leads to serious conditions including:

  • muscle weakness in the face
  • hearing issues
  • balancing problems

Treatment options for shingles on the face

If you have shingles on one side of your face, there is no need to worry about permanent damage because you only risk spreading zoster through touch if someone touches your affected skin while it is still in its blister stage. Treatment can help reduce discomfort from blisters and speed up healing time, but unfortunately there are few treatment options available when shingles affects both sides of the head or around an eye.

Just like chickenpox, you just have to let shingles run its natural course. There are treatment options available to make you feel more comfortable, including:

  • cool compress
  • pain relievers, OTC or prescription strength, depending on severity
  • antiviral drugs
  • anti-inflammatory drugs

How to cure shingles in 3 days.

Preventing spread of shingles

If you are infected with shingles, it’s important to keep the shingles rash covered with clothing or a bandage so that you don’t spread shingles to another person. Once shingles appears on your face, it is possible for the virus to affect one eye and cause blurry vision.

To prevent others from getting chickenpox, avoid contact with people who have not had the disease or the vaccine until all of your blisters have crusted over. This usually takes seven to ten days after the appearance of the rash.

Shingles is a reactivation of chickenpox, which is caused by Varicella-zoster Virus (VZV). Shingles can develop at any age after exposure to a person with shingles or chickenpox, but most people who get shingles are over 50 years old. It’s also unclear why some people get shingles mainly on their faces.

If shingles appears on one side of your face, it’s important to keep the shingle rash covered so that you don’t spread shingles to another person. Once shingles appears on your face, it is possible for the virus to affect one eye and cause blurry vision.

Avoiding contact with high risk people

Generally, you should avoid contact with people who’ve never had chickenpox, especially the following:

  • pregnant women
  • those with a weakened immune system
  • people who’ve just had an organ transplant
  • HIV-infected people

 

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