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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Skin Disorders Shingles


Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV).

VZV is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body.

Usually the virus does not cause any problems; however, the virus can reappear years later, causing shingles.



  • Several days to a week of burning pain and sensitive skin
  • Shingles starts as small blisters on a red base, with new blisters continuing to form for 3-5 days
  • Eventually, the blisters pop and the area start to ooze. The area will then crusts over and heal
  • Shingles can spread from an affected person to children or adults who have not had chickenpox. Instead of developing shingles, these people develop chickenpox



  • Generally, shingles heals well and problems are few. However, on occasions, the blisters can become infected with bacteria causing cellulites, a bacterial infection of the skin
  • A more worrisome complication occurs when shingles affects the face, specifically the forehead and nose
  • Painful herpetic neuralgia due to reactivation of virus in later days
  • Usually presents along dermatome region, more common in thoracic region



Antiviral can reduce the duration of the rash if started early (within 48 hours of the appearance of the rash).

Use of Tricyclic antidepressants helps in post herpetic neuralgia.