Postherpetic neuralgia. This common complication
of shingles (herpes zoster) lasts for at least 30 days and can continue for
months to years.
Postherpetic neuralgia can cause persistent pain,
facial nerve problems, and headaches.
Disseminated zoster, a blistery rash that spreads over a large
portion of your body and affects the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, joints, and
intestinal tract. Infection can also spread to nerves that control movement,
which may cause temporary weakness.
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus, a
shingles rash on the forehead, cheek, nose, and around one eye, which could
threaten your sight. Immediate treatment is necessary for this type of
shingles.1 See a picture of
herpes zoster ophthalmicus.
Cranial nerve complications. If
shingles affects the nerves originating in the brain, complications may
pain, and loss of feeling in one or both eyes. The infection may threaten your
vision. See your
ophthalmologist if shingles affects your eyes. Also, a
rash may appear on the side and tip of the nose (Hutchinson's
Intense ear pain; a rash around the ear, mouth, face, neck,
and scalp; and loss of movement in facial nerves (Ramsay Hunt syndrome). Other
symptoms may include hearing loss, dizziness, and ringing in the ears. Mouth
sores and loss of taste in the tongue also may occur.
central nervous system, which may cause inflammation,
and possibly blockage, of blood vessels. This can lead to
stroke, paralysis, or death.
Reduced sensitivity or a loss of feeling after
Scarring, skin discoloration, or bacterial
infection of the blisters.
Gnann JW, Whitley RJ (2002). Herpes zoster. New England Journal of Medicine, 347(5): 340-346.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
March 9, 2009
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 09, 2009
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