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Shingles pain

Most people with shingles develop a painful rash, which usually appears as a band or belt on one side of their body.
Shingles pain can be excruciating and has been described as burning or stabbing.

Personal Stories

The following Australians have shared their personal experience with shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)

Leon, Kearney Spring, QLD
“Last year, I was at home recovering from an accident when I noticed a blistering rash which covered the left side of my chest and my left underarm.

The pain was so severe that I could not have anything touching it or any form of pressure on the rash, I was unable to wear clothing and was confined to my home.

Whilst the shingles rash cleared after a few weeks, I have lived with ongoing pain ever since, a permanent dull ache and intermittent stabbing pain. The pain is hard to manage at best, and with strong medication, I can sometimes go half a day without pain but I have to take sleeping tablets every night just to ensure I can get rest.”

Patient experiences may vary

My first symptoms were a driving headache,like someone tearing at my hair... It’s the worst thing I’ve ever suffered and I don’t want to have it again...
PHILIP, BASS VIC Watch Phillip’s story

What does shingles pain feel like?

  • Most people with shingles develop a painful rash, which usually appears as a band or belt on one side of their body.
  • Shingles pain can be excruciating and has been described as burning or stabbing pain.
  • Shingles pain can disrupt sleep and everyday life.
  • Older people are more likely to experience severe or long-lasting pain.

Shingles can cause serious medical complications

  • In most people, the shingles rash will last around 10 to 15 days, however complications can occur and the frequency and severity increases with age.
  • Up to 20% of adults with shingles may develop long-term nerve pain (postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)) which may last for months, even years.
  • Other complications include permanent scarring, vision loss (if the rash occurs around the eye) and an increased risk of stroke.

For more information about shingles please talk to your doctor.

ASK YOUR
DOCTOR

ABOUT GOVERNMENT FUNDED PREVENTION
AND TREATMENT OPTIONS

Resources

For further information about shingles and its complications such as PHN download the following resources:

Shingles poster
Detailed patient survey findings
Shingles information leaflet

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