Shingles

Frequently Asked Questions

21. What are the other complications?

Outbreaks that start on the face or eyes can cause vision or hearing problems. Even permanent blindness can result if the cornea of the eye is affected.

Bacterial infection of the open sores can lead to scarring. In a small number of cases, bacteria can cause more serious conditions, including toxic shock syndrome or necrotizing fasciitis, a severe infection that destroys the soft tissue under the skin.

The constant pain, loss of sleep, and interference with even basic life activities can cause serious depression.

In patients with immune deficiency, the rash can be much more extensive and the illness can be complicated by pneumonia. These cases are more serious, but they are rarely fatal.