Patient Comments: Shingles - Complications


Did you have complications that arose from shingles? Please describe your experience. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Anniewu, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I had shingles and it started with headaches (very bad), no appetite (never have that) and body aches for 2 days, and then started to have left arm pain. I didn’t think too much, thought it was COVID (no running nose, fever, or sore throat), but after the test was negative, I had very small blisters on my elbow and I thought that was summer bug. My arm was in so much pain that I couldn’t sleep for days.

Comment from: Parnell, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I had the shingles vaccine. I got shingles on my right thigh. I took acyclovir and prednisone. I have postherpetic neuralgia and take gabapentin. I have multiple MRIs showing something in my lumbar spine. I have been tested by an oncologist and a neurosurgeon. They don’t believe me when I say it is shingles in my spine.

Comment from: JoAn, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 06

My husband has shingles, and went to the doctor for viral and pain medicines. Today is the 7th day and his rash is drying up but the bottom of his right foot is so sore he can hardly walk on it. The shingles were on his right thigh and some on his right ankle, so he has redness on the bottom of his right foot. I wonder how this long will last and if there is anything to help with the pain as pain medicines make him sick to his stomach.

Comment from: Travelbex, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I am a 40 year old woman and had a panic attack at work. The following day I woke up with an incredibly sore back and leg. There was a slight rash in my lower left leg that hurt to touch. I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with shingles. I was off work for a week and returned today, however I now have a very swollen ankle/foot. I am hoping this is from the shingles. I never got the blisters, but did get the raised rash. I cannot believe how painful it is, worse than labor!

Comment from: tooyoungforthis, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

I was diagnosed with shingles on my foot, leg and buttocks (right side). The pain and some bumps appeared on October 4. My primary care physician said I had dermatitis and a corn on my foot, not to worry. After the pain intensified and the little bumps blistered (after a hot shower) I went to the emergency room and I began VZV (varicella-zoster virus) treatment on Oct 9. I am a beautician and I worry if I will ever be the same again because the pain, itching and numbness in my foot are very scary! I am also diabetic and terrified of cellulitis or any infection that may develop. The largest cluster is on the ball of my foot and though my leg and buttocks have crusted over, the foot seems to not be drying up as quickly. I am so scared. It is now October 20 and I have not left my house yet.

Comment from: Tammy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

I had a small patch of shingles on my shoulder 3 weeks ago. I did not take medication and now I have a patch of redness on my leg, no blisters yet. I wonder if I could still have shingles.

Comment from: Bob, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 24

I've had shingles for over a month. The sores have gone away, but I can't use my left leg. It gives out on me.

Comment from: ramlan, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 11

I had shingles on my right leg 2 months ago and was hospitalized for a week. There were no rashes or any sign of it, I can only feel throbbing nerve pain inside my leg. After visiting 4 doctors for diagnosis, I was sent home and prescribed a painkiller. I requested to be hospitalized at the 4th visit and after an acupuncture treatment, rashes formed and shrouded on my right leg. It looks like cluster of boils but not itchy. To my astonishment, in my medical record I was diagnosed as having a viral infection.

Comment from: Lizzy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I was hospitalized for a week four years ago with shingles on my face, scalp and around my eye. On narcotics for 3 months, I could not drive for 3 months due to light sensitivity. Four times a day for 2 weeks I felt ‘someone poured gasoline on my head and set fire’ melting skin sensation. It was horrible. Now, 4 years later I have daily eye pain and very severe itching. I have tried every drug; now I’m taking Lyrica which helps a tiny bit. Shingles changed my life!

Comment from: Bev, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I started getting a red rash that started on the left side of my stomach and ran around my body to the middle of my back. I went to a clinic and was diagnosed with shingles. The doctor prescribed pms-Valacyclovir two days ago. The pain was just like someone was sticking my flesh with a darning needle, extremely painful. My sister suggested putting ice on the sore when I got the pain and the pain stopped almost immediately. It has been giving me much relief. The pain does return but as soon as I put the ice on the spot that is hurting the pain quits. I have never had the preventive shot that is talked about. I am hoping the ice continues to work until the shingles have gone.


Shingles See pictures of shingles and other viral skin conditions See Images
Comment from: Taz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I had shingles in L2 dermatome. It was incredibly painful and pain medications were minimally effective. My doctor friend mentioned Tagamet being useful. After my 2nd dose of Tagamet (OTC), my pain was markedly improved. Its effectiveness was found accidentally but many people have benefitted. It is not marketed for shingles because this was learned after it went OTC and would have to be studied, approved and relabeled, which would not be cost effective for the supplier. There are some people who can't take it so it is better to check with the pharmacist.

Comment from: Wendy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 30

I have been taken the antiviral pill nearly 2 weeks. I suffered head pain for 5 days, until the rash came on my right forehead and red eyes. Thanks for Walgreen pharmacy staff who told me go to Urgent Care at that time, golden 24 hours is so important for me. I suffered a lot of serious head pain, went 2 times to Urgent Care clinic, once to hospital emergency to check my eyes, 2 times visiting eyes doctor. Thank goodness my eyes are healthy, but I still have head pain; and my both feet with osteoarthritic pain getting worse this week. I am going to see Chinese doctors to help me to clean up the virus if possible and release the head pain hopefully. Shingle is so terrible.

Comment from: mre 12, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 01

I lost 40 lb. sick in bed for two months with shingles, hooked on medicines. That was six months ago and I still have face pain and head pain. I do not know what to do. I have doctors but I need something for the pain.

Comment from: Stress, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

Stress the silent killer, well, in this case shingles bringer. What seemed out of the blue, while on a business trip, I started feeling out of sorts. Thinking it was sinus I soon picked up strange head sensation, as if something was in my hair, always on the left side, and painful ear and side of the nose. Then I developed painful bumps on my scalp again only on the left. Small red bump on my forehead, again left side. Then a major pain and bump behind my ear and neck. One day after my return flight I asked a friend to book me an appointment with doctor. When landing I checked to see it there was any more damage. Indeed small red bumps on my forehead and along my eyebrow and between my eyes’ tear ducts and nose. Yes I had shingles, the scars heal but the headaches are unbelievable; I went 2nd time to the doctor for stronger pain relief. Other than the headache the concerns were not to get the blisters in the eye, so it was critical to obtain the ointment. Going into the second week and scarring and healing, I had milder headaches but they were there nevertheless. Healthy lifestyle has contributed to a speedy recovery together with the antivirus medicine.

Comment from: Maggie36, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 21

Last year my husband had shingles. The pain ran from the top of his head to his leg, on the right side. The doctor gave him gabapentin but that didn't help. He was seen by a neurologist and once again he was given gabapentin, it still didn't help him. I don't know how he can deal with this pain for so long but he does.

Comment from: grampaw, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 01

I’m 59 and had strong lower back pain. I went to my chiropractor. Next day it felt like broken ribs. Third day I had a rash on the ribs and middle of back, when I breathed it hurt. The rash turned into blisters and I saw my doctor who said I had shingles. I am on medications now but pain is off and on.

Comment from: oscar56, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I was diagnosed with shingles early this year. I get a severe itch on my back still and get severe chest or lung pain when this happens. I've been told Shingles is attacking the lining of my right lung. This definitely is making it hard to do things.

Comment from: Daphne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I had shingles last year on the left side of my forehead and in my left eye. It came on very gradually as eye strain for a month, then heightened to facial pain and pocks. I began taking homeopathic medicine as soon as the pain became an issue. The medicine cleared it up within two weeks with no lasting symptoms other than a single pock scar.

Comment from: ken, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 29

I have had shingles for 5 years in my spinal cord. I am taking Lyrica but it does not seem to help.

Comment from: mushy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

Before experiencing shingles, I experienced severe lethargy, felt unwell for over a week. Following this I developed a painful, burning sensation with rash to right side of my abdomen, but no blisters. The rash spread, I attended general physician who confirmed shingles.


What Causes Shingles? See Slideshow
Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

My rash started on my right side below my belly button stretching from the front to the back. I first thought it was a rash from jeans. I started to experience severe gastritis, which made the experience all the more painful. I couldn't eat due to the pain, sleep or walk straight. After two weeks I went to my doctor who then diagnose it as shingles. He prescribe an anti-viral medication called acyclover 400MG. The medication seemed to take for- ever, not to mention not eating. I lost around 15 pounds in two months. Its now a little over 2 and half months, I have small dark circular spots that are still sensitive to the touch. Felling better.

Comment from: KJLN, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

I am a 40-year-old female. About 18 days ago I was diagnosed by my ophthalmologist with shingles. I went to the eye doctor because I was having pain when I moved my left eye and a weird headache between both eyes. I also had a very swollen lymph node behind my right ear. I had not noticed a rash, but there was a faint scratch mark on my forehead. He immediately told me I had shingles. The mark over the next few days turned into a rash, covering the top 1/4th of my face. It went into my hairline and stopped at my eyelid. After visiting him, I began having incredible eye pain – like a railroad spike being pounded in my eye every three seconds. I was on antiviral meds and was able to get Tylenol with Codeine, which helped me tremendously. About a week ago, I was feeling much better, but now my eye is watering constantly, I have a burning pain, and am very sensitive to light. I am going back to the eye doctor. This is a very difficult condition to be in.

Comment from: barbie37, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I had shingles almost a year ago in my left eye. The doctor said I should have lost my sight in that eye, but I was fortunate and didn't. Now I have postherpetic neuralgia, which is horrible. My eye hurts all the time, I have to go to a pain management center, and am on narcotics and other drugs. This is not a good time.

Comment from: GeekBoy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 13

Pain – I had it on my face and, periodically, once a day on the average, I felt like my face was on fire for about 30 seconds. Then another time it felt like it was on fire for 1 ½ minutes (I had a friend time it). I tried Lyrica, which made me dizzy and put me to sleep. It’s been three months and parts of my face are still numb. The horrible pain stopped after two weeks. Now I get some under-skin tingling and it feels like a periodic mild electric shock.

Comment from: TEFORME1, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

I have had severe pain that acted like lumbar pain for seven days now. I had to go to emergency care twice and was treated with morphine. Since I have chronic low back pain, the pain was excruciating. It robbed me of sleep, and today I have a rash. I went to the doctor immediately, who confirmed it is shingles. I already had an SI joint injection scheduled, since it mimicked SI joint pain. So, I am happy (well, at least for me) that I don't have to have an unnecessary injection.

Comment from: SandraS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

Three months ago I had severe pain in my right side and a small two inch rash in the center of my abdomen. I went to the doctors the very next day where I was diagnosed with shingles. He prescribed acyclovir tabs and cream, Nolotil (for pain) Nervobion (vitamin). Also at my first and subsequent visits in the first two weeks I had injections of Voltaren and Nolotil for the pain. Since then I have started Lyrica and Carbamazepine. The blisters did not expand so fortunately I did not have them to contend with but the pain has never really gone. All the drugs have taken the edge off it, but now it seems to be getting bad again. I am still under the doctors and he has now prescribed stronger Nolotil 575mg.


Shingles is a painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. See Answer