How shingles develops

Author: Bupa Health UK

This animation will show how the shingles rash can develop and the areas of skin that may be affected. Click the navigation arrows below the animation screen to play, pause, rewind or fast-forward the animation. This animation contains sound. Shingles is caused by the virus that causes chickenpox varicella zoster. The shingles rash develops within a band of skin on one side of the body.

The band corresponds to an area supplied by a particular nerve. At first you will probably feel a tingling sensation, followed by a burning pain in the same area. Over the course of a few days a rash develops.The rash consists of red spots that turn into small fluid-filled blisters. It can be very painful. Shingles can develop along any nerve but it's common on the skin of the chest or abdomen (tummy).

The blisters scab over and heal after a few more days. Pain may persist in the area for some time afterwards. This is known as post-herpetic neuralgia. Sometimes shingles develops on one side of the face. The eye area may be affected. This can be extremely painful. The rash scabs over and heals after a few more days. This is the end of the animation.

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How shingles develops

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