Shingles Long Term Effects

Long-Term Effects of Shingles

Shingles, caused by the varicella zostervirus, is a painful condition that can leave uncomfortable sensations and unsightly scars. But the long-term effects of shingles do not end there. It’s important to be aware of the potential complications that can arise from having shingles.

Postherpetic Neuralgia

One of the most common long-term effects of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia. This condition is characterized by persistent pain that can last for months or even years following a shingles outbreak. The pain can range from mild or severe and can affect the entire affected area. Some people may experience numbness, tingling, or itching in the area in addition to the pain.

Weakened Immune System

Shingles can also weaken the immune system, leaving it more susceptible to other illnesses. People who have already had shingles may be more likely to catch the virus again, or to develop other infections. It is important to talk to your doctor and get routine immunizations to help keep your immune system strong.


In rare cases, shingles can lead to a type of cancer called Glioblastoma. This cancer affects the brain and can be difficult to treat once it is discovered. The connection between shingles and glioblastoma is not yet clear and further research is needed to understand the risks of this complication.

Other Long-Term Effects

Other possible long-term effects of shingles can include:

  • Scarring and skin discoloration
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Vision loss
  • Joint pain

It is important to talk to your doctor if you experience any of these long-term effects. There may be treatments available to help manage these conditions.

The best way to prevent the long-term effects of shingles is to get vaccinated. A vaccine can help reduce your risk of developing shingles, as well as its potential complications. Talk to your doctor to see if the shingles vaccine is right for you.

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