Complications of shingles

Generally the skin rash and the pain will clear up within two to four weeks. In some people the disease can lead to complications, which in some cases may be serious.

The most common complication of shingles is long-term pain caused by the nerve damage that can occur in connection with shingles. This nerve pain is known as postherpetic neuralgia. Read more about long-term neuralgia as a complication of shingles here.

If shingles affects the eye, the consequences can be very serious, such as impaired vision or blindness. Shingles can also cause scarring, skin infections or hearing impairments. Read more about eye complications here.

It is unusual for children and young adults who get shingles to be particularly badly affected or to suffer complications. However, the older you are, the more severe the illness can be, and the risk of complications increases markedly from the age of 50 onwards.