Shingles on Face, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & How to Get Rid

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Shingles also called herpes zoster, is a rare skin condition characterized by painful blisters. The condition can occur on any part of the body. Shingles on face and on other parts of the body are common in people who had chicken pox.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox when infected with the virus for the first type, it causes chicken pox, your body then becomes immune to the virus preventing future infections. The virus does not leave your body, it remains dormant or inactive but may reactivate or wake up to because shingles which is a skin condition marked with painful fluids filled blisters.

In this article, we provide some of the symptoms, treatment and how to get rid of shingles on face naturally at home using effective natural remedies.

What causes shingles on face?

Shingles or herpes zoster is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. That means one can only get shingles after they are infected with chicken pox. The varicella-zoster virus that causes both chicken pox and shingles is very contagious, a can spread from one person to the other through close physical contact.

Only those not infected or vaccinated against the virus can get infected. Once infected, your body immune system becomes “immune” to the varicella virus preventing future infections. The virus remains domain in your body even after recovering from chicken pox.

The varicella virus stays dormant in your body for the rest of your life. It, however, reactivate to shingles on face or on other parts of the body. The exact reason why the virus reactivates is unknown.

Shingles is common in people above 60 years but it can occur in anybody who has the virus in their body especially those with weak or compromised immune system. Shingles on face more common in most people than on other parts of the body.

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Shingles on face symptoms

The symptoms of shingles are different from those of chickenpox. With shingles on face, the symptoms will occur only on one side of the face or body. An itchy painful rash and fluid filled blisters are the two most common symptoms of shingles.

The common symptoms of shingles on the face will include the following:

  • A painful rash that spreads from the ear, nose to the forehead
  • Itchy rash around eye, ear, and nose
  • Swelling around eye
  • Redness on face
  • Tingling and a burning sensation just before the red painful bumps appear
  • Clusters of painful blisters on face
  • Itchy blisters that are painful to touch

Shingles on face pictures 

shingles blisters on face


shingles around eyes


shingles on face and head

Shingles complications

When left untreated shingle on face could lead to unwanted complications. The risk of developing some of the shingles complication are high in old people and those with weak or impaired immune systems. Common complications of untreated shingles include the following:

  1. Postherpetic neuralgia, this is the most common complication of shingles. The condition causes severe nerve pain and intense itching that persist after the rash and other symptoms of shingles have gone.
  2. Eye problem including ulceration around eye, permanent scarring, inflammation of the eye and optic nerve and glaucoma where pressure builds up inside the eye.
  3. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome common when shingles affect certain nerve in your head. This complication can cause an earache, hearing loss, dizziness, facial paralysis, rash around the ear, and loss of taste.
  4. Increased risk of bacterial infection
  5. Permanent scarring

Shingles on eye

Shingle on face is known to cause different symptoms that vary in sensitivity especially when occurring around eye. As said, symptoms of shingle will often occur only on one side. Shingles in eye, therefore, affects only one eye. The symptom can be seen in either the right eye or the left eye, not both eyes.

Shingles on eye can show cause the following symptoms:

  • Mild to severe pain in either the right or left eye
  • Redness around eye, this is caused by the inflammation of the drainage structure of your eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of vision in severe cases
  • Puffy eyes

Shingles in eye can have serious complications if treatment is not administered early. It is therefore very important to consult your health care if you notice any of the symptoms of shingles develop inside or around eye.

The American Academy of Dermatologists, recommends oral and topical medicines to treat the symptoms of shingles.  They say that therapy works best if started less than 72 hours of developing shingles skin rash.

Shingles in ear

Shingles on face can cause complication to eye, ear or on the part the painful rash or blisters occur on your body. Shingles in ear, near or inside the ear can lead to an infection if not properly treated. According to health line, shingles in ear can cause:

  • Your facial muscle to weaken
  • Dizziness and loss of balance (labyrinthitis)
  • Hearing loss and other problems

For most people who develop such complications, the symptoms may remain long after shingles in ear have cleared. For some, the symptoms may become permanent.

Shingles on face and head

The early signs of shingles on face and head will include tingling and localized pain. The symptoms of shingles will only occur on one side of face or your body. The painful fluid filled blisters will, therefore, occur either on the right side of face and head or on the left side of face and head, not on both sides.

Though most people with shingles will develop a blistering rash, same people may develop shingles without the rash. Common symptoms of shingles will include deep pain, itching, and burning. For most people, the symptoms will last for not more than a month after which they can make a full recovery.

Shingles on face and head will appear in the following stages:

  • Early symptoms may include fever and general weakness, followed by deep pain, burning and a tingling sensation in face
  • The rash will then develop painful fluid filled blisters like those in chicken pox. The blisters are often accompanied by itching may continue to develop for several days
  • The blisters will them erupt, ooze, turn slightly yellow and may begin to flatten. At this stage, the blisters will scab and crust and the pain may ease a little but continue for more days
  • Ophthalmic shingles affecting the nerve that controls facial sensation and movement, in this types, the painful shingle rash will appear around eye and over the forehead. This type of shingles is not to cause a headache
  • With shingles on face and head, open sores are known to increase the risk of a secondary infection such as yeast or bacterial infection. Keep the blisters covered to minimize the risk of such infections.

Shingles around mouth

When the symptoms of shingles develop inside or around mouth, it can make it very painful to eat or even talk until the symptoms clear. Shingles in mouth can also affect your sense of taste, this can be very annoying.

Another complication of shingles is post herpetic neuralgia, this condition is characterized by severe pain on the sites where the painful shingles rash was. Even after the rash has healed, for some people, the pain might last up to years or so.

Another common complication of shingle around mouth, on face, around eyes is permanent scarring. This is common especially if the shingles caused a bacterial infection this can be from scratching or popping the shingles blisters.

Studies also suggest that shingles increase the risk of stroke. Some studies show that the risk is high if you have shingles on face. The increase can be by a few weeks to a few months.

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Treatment for shingles on face

Not treating shingles can cause serious or even life threatening complications. Though rare, it is said that if left untreated shingles could affect the brain, blood vessel or even your spinal cord. Urgent medical diagnosis is required immediately you notice any of the symptoms of shingles on face.

Before treating shingles on face, your healthcare provider (an ophthalmologist) will need to carry out a physical exam. A biopsy may be required to rule out other possible conditions that might cause the symptoms.

Early treatment not only helps manage the symptoms, it also reduces the risk of developing some of the complications associated with shingles. Treatment for shingles on face will include the following:

  • Topical and oral antiviral
  • When the face, eye or ear are involved, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid
  • Pain reliever is also used to soothe the pain caused by the rash and fluid filled blisters
  • A bacterial infection characterized by spreading redness, inflammation and pus filled bumps can be treated with antibiotics.

Home remedies for shingles

Shingle on face can have serious complication if left untreated, to prevent such complication from occurring, seek proper medical treatment as soon as you notice some of the symptoms of shingles discussed above.

There are some home remedies you can use to relieve the symptoms and soothe the pain caused by shingles on face.

1. Cold compress

A simple cold compress can help relieve the pain and itching caused by shingles. Cleansing the blisters with a cold compress also reduces the risk of spreading the virus to those not infected or vaccinated against the virus.

  • Do not use hot water
  • Add a cup or two of oatmeal oil in a basin of lukewarm water
  • Use a clean face towel gently apply a cold compress on your face

2. Baking soda paste

Applying a baking soda paste can also help relieve the pain, itching, and irritation of the painful shingles blister.

  • Add two tablespoon of baking soda paste and one part of water
  • Gently mix to achieve a fine paste
  • Apply the paste on the shingles rash on face and leave it on for 3o minutes
  • Rinse the paste off with cold water and cover the blisters
  • You will need to do this twice a day for a week

3. Maintaining a healthy diet

The complications of shingles are more rampant in people with weak or compromised immune system. Maintain a proper dietary plan may help strengthen the immune system thus reducing the risk of shingles rash spreading to other parts or causing complications.

Health line recommends shingles diet to include vitamins A, B-12, C, E and amino acids. Some food that promotes healing of shingles on face include oranges, red meat eggs, dairy products, spinach and whole grains.

How to get rid of shingles fast

Shingles rash on face causes severe pain, itching and irritating. Apart from the conventional shingles treatment, there are some homeopathic remedies that may help get rid of shingles fast.

Some of the effective remedies you can use to get rid of shingles fast include the following:

4. Calamine lotion

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a calamine lotion to offer relief for itching and irritation caused by shingles blisters on face and other parts of the body.

5. Oatmeal

Applying oatmeal on shingles rash will help temporally provider relief for the symptoms fast. Oatmeal will help prevent itching and is gentle on skin

6. Vaseline

Applying Vaseline and other non-perfumed petroleum jellies may help relieve and get rid of shingles symptoms fast.

How to prevent shingles on face

One can only develop shingles if he or she was infected with the varicella zoster virus. You cannot give someone shingles, however, close physical contact with anyone who is not vaccinated against the virus or those who have not been infected before will cause them to develop chicken pox which then increases their risk of developing shingles.

The risk of spreading the varicella zoster virus increases when the blisters are oozing or before they crust over. You can prevent the spread of shingles on face by doing the following:

  • Ensure the blisters are always covered
  • Avoid scratching, rubbing or popping the blisters
  • Avoid physical contact with anyone not infected or vaccinated against the virus

According to the American Academy of Dermatologist, a shingles vaccine is available for people 50 years old and above. With this vaccine, he risk of developing shingles is reduce and in case you end up developing shingles, then the pain will be less than those not vaccinated.

Sources and references:

  1. Mayo Clinic, Early symptom of shingles: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/basics/symptoms/con-20019574
  2. How shingles can affect your body, complications: http://www.shinglesinfo.com/what-is-shingles/
  3. The American Academy of Dermatology, shingles cause, symptoms, and treatment: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/shingles
  4. What do shingles look like http://www.healthline.com/health/shingles-pictures?tre=false
  5. Shingles on face, symptoms, and treatment: http://www.healthline.com/health/shingles-pictures?tre=false
  6. Powerful home remedies for shingles treatment: http://www.homeremediesblog.com/shingles-home-treatment-remedies/
  7. Shingles, causes, symptoms, and complications: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/shingles
  8. Health line, natural treatments for shingles: http://www.healthline.com/health/shingles-natural-treatment#overview1


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  2. Wilmer

    October 29, 2017 at 12:39 am

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