Overview of Shingles

Shingles are caused by the same virus as it infects the chickenpox that is varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It spreads all over the body by targeting the nerve fibres as the virus is reactivated.

Signs and Symptoms of Shingles

Shingles also known as (Aik Jildi Marz Jis Say Kamar Kay Qareeb Chittay Par Jatay Hain Aur Soozish Hoti Hai/ ایک جلدی مرض جس سے کمر کے قریب چتے پڑ جاتے ہیں اور سوزش ہوتی ہے)  is a viral infection caused by the Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) (the same virus causing chickenpox). It targets the sensory nerve ganglion and nerve supplies to the skin surfaces and causes painful rash anywhere in the body.

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes the two serious illnesses that are given below:

  • Chickenpox forms itchy blisters on the back, chest and face area where it spreads to other parts of the body.
  • Shingles is a painful rash and appears on the lateral side of the body. As it starts to expand, turn into red fluid-filled blisters. These red blisters typically dry out and make a crust over 7 to 10 days.

Shingles cause infection in the body when VZV remains dormant around groups of nerve cells. The underlying VZV can reactivate after many years or decades later as shingles.

Shingles Prevalence

Shingles is one of the leading viral diseases that may produce once in a lifetime or more than one episode. Almost 1 out of 3 people suffer from shingles in the world's population.
Most commonly, the associated complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).About 10 to 18% people suffer from PHN  along with shingles. The risk of PHN may increase with age. Children are also prone to shingles, but it is rare.

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Types of Shingles

People with shingles feel the pain, itching or tingling in the affected area before the rash appears for several days.

Most commonly, the rash forms one side of the body laterally either left or right side of the body. It can affect other areas of the body like the face, eye and spread to the body. The rash due to shingles is similar to chickenpox.

Other symptoms of shingles include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Upset stomach

Risk Factors of Shingles

Shingles is primarily caused by the Varicella-zoster virus (the same virus causing chickenpox). Person who has chickenpox may also have a risk of causing shingles. After recovery from chickenpox, the virus can enter into the nervous system and reside there in a dormant state for even years. Once the virus reactivates and radiates along the nerve pathways to the skin it may produce shingles, but not every person who has experienced chickenpox will be infected with shingles too.

Is it contagious?

A person with shingles can transmit the Varicella-zoster virus through direct contact with open blisters of the shingles rash. But it mainly transmits to those who are not immune to chickenpox or may have weakened immunity such as pregnant women, newborn, children or older people etc.



Here are some of the important risk factors for shingles:

  • If you are older than 50 years of age, you can suffer from shingles
  • Suffering from certain medical conditions can increase your risk of suffering from shingles
  • Consuming certain medication can be a risk factor for shingles (steroids or other medications that weaken your immune system)
  • Certain treatments you go through also increase your risk of shingles (chemotherapy, radiation therapy).

Health Complications

Several health complications are associated with shingles.

  • Postherpetic Neuralgia: In this condition, the damaged nerve fibres send the aggravated signals of pain from the skin to the brain is called postherpetic neuralgia. That's why pain remains for a prolonged period even after the blisters have been removed.
  • Vision Loss: If shingles effect in or around an eye may cause painful eye infections that leads to vision loss.
  • Neurological Problems: Shingles also affect the brain nerves that ultimately cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), facial paralysis, or hearing or balance problems.
  • Skin Infections: It is possible when shingles blisters do not treat properly then have a risk of bacterial skin infections.

Treatment of Shingles | When to Consult a Doctor

Shingles diagnosis depends on the sign and symptoms of infection and severity of pain that it causes at one side of the body. A doctor may scrape the tissue or culture of the blisters from the affected region and deliver them to the lab for laboratory examination.

Doctors to treat Shingles

Last updated on Wednesday 07/12/2022


Dr. Asif Rauf

Cosmetologist, Dermatologist | MBBS

Cosmolux ( The Hair & Skin Clinic )Rs 2000


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Highly Recommended


Dr. Farrukh Aslam

Cosmetologist | MBBS, FCPS, BFIRST Fellow, MRCPS, FACS

LaForma ClinicRs 1500


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Dr farukh is a kind man he listen whatever i said and then he diagnosed me the treatment of my issue


Dr. Aamir Chhipa

Cosmetologist, Dermatologist | MBBS, DCDD

Dr Aamir Skin ClinicRs 1000


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I am very satisfied with the overall doctor's experience.

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