Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin supplied by the nerve. It is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox in the past may develop shingles.
The virus responsible for shingles and chickenpox belongs to a group of viruses called herpesviruses. This group includes the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores, fever blisters, mononucleosis, genital herpes — a sexually transmitted disease, and Epstein-Barr virus involved in infectious mononucleosis. Like the shingles virus, many other herpesviruses can take refuge in the nervous system after an individual has suffered an initial infection. These viruses may remain latent for years, then travel down nerve cell fibers to cause a renewed infection.
Shingles outbreaks are almost always on just one side of the body and other. Within a few days, a rash appears on the skin area related to the inflamed nerve. Small blisters form and fill with fluid. Later they break open and develop crusty scabs.
If the blisters are scratched, someone with shingles might develop a skin infection. This could require treatment with antibiotics and might cause scars.
Shingles Pictures, Images, & Photos
Below, you’ll find our shingles photo gallery which shows a range of many cases of shingles on people like you and me. As you’ll see, the most common areas affected by shingles include the face, abdomen, and back.
Pictures of Shingles on the Face
Here are some pictures of people with shingles on their face. You can see that if you treat shingles late, the result is lots of severe complications.
Pictures of Shingles on the Body
Shingles outbreaks are almost always on just one side of the body.
Any part of your body can be affected, although the chest and abdomen (tummy) are the most common areas, clusters of littles blisters in a strip pattern on one side of the body.
Typically, only one side of the body is affected. The rash and blisters that develop with shingles are typically limited to one side of the body
You are at risk of shingles if you have had chickenpox. Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus (called varicella zoster) in a person’s body.
Pictures of Shingles on the Back and Shoulders
Here are some images of shingles on the back and lower back:
Pictures of Shingles on the Legs and Hands
Shingles may occur on the belly, head, face, neck, or one arm or leg.
Shingles in children pictures
Your shingles rash will not trigger an outbreak of shingles in another person, but it can sometimes cause chickenpox in a child.
Shingles isn’t very common in kids – it mostly affects older people.
Chickenpox during pregnancy could cause birth defects in your unborn child.
Shingles-related pain is less common in young, healthy people and is rare in children.
Pictures of Shingles Blisters
The Shingles rash begins when blisters start appearing on the skin.
Red patches on the skin, followed by small blisters, form in most people.
The cluster of blisters that form with shingles fill with fluid, pop, then start to ooze. Eventually, the affected areas crust over and heal like the rash shown here:
Shingles blisters can occur anywhere on the body: