Shingles Side Effects

Shingles is a painful disease related to chickenpox. When a person has chickenpox, the virus may seem to disappear, but instead lies dormant in the nervous system. Years later, the virus can reactivate and travel through the body causing an extremely painful and sometimes dangerous outbreak of the varicella-zoster virus known as shingles.


Because the virus travels along nerve pathways, numbness or tingling in the body is a common early side effect of shingles.


Shingles often comes with fiery pain that flares up with movement or touch. Even the weight of clothing can cause excruciating pain spikes.


A shingles rash may start as itching and spread into blistering bumps and crusty scabs that last four to six weeks


PHN or post-herpetic neuralgia is a lingering nerve pain that persists for months or years after the shingles attack. It is often resistant to pain medication or therapy.


When shingles spreads to the facial nerve, it causes intense ear pain and rash of the ear or inside of the mouth and around the head. Deafness may occur.


People who have not had chickenpox or its vaccination can develop chickenpox from exposure to a person with shingles.

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About the Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.