Shingles Facts

Shingles can happen to anyone who's had chickenpox.

If you've had chickenpox, you could get Shingles at any time. There's no way to predict if or when you will get it, or how severe your case could be. Here are some more eye-opening Shingles facts:

  • There are more than 1 million cases of Shingles each year in the United States.

  • 1 in 3 people will get Shingles during their lifetime.

As you get older, your risk of getting Shingles increases greatly.

As you age, your immune system also ages, and it can become weaker, making it more difficult to protect you from serious diseases like Shingles.

The rash isn't always the first sign of Shingles.

Before the rash ever appears on the skin, there may be signs that Shingles is coming. You may feel an itching, tingling, burning, or pain in a specific area on one side of your body or face.

Shingles can be a painful, blistering rash. The rash can last up to 30 days.

For those people who experience the initial tingle, burning, itch or pain, the rash typically appears on the skin in the same area. The rash is usually red and blistering, and can last up to 30 days. Some people may experience complications that last after the rash has healed, like permanent scarring or changes to the color of the skin, or nerve pain that may last for months or even years. In very rare cases, loss of hearing or vision impairment can occur when Shingles involves the ear or eye, respectively.

The Shingles rash can bring severe, stabbing pain.

In many cases, Shingles causes pain. People with Shingles have described the pain as sharp, stabbing, shooting, burning, throbbing, and itchy. The pain may be constant or it may come and go.

Some people may develop long-term nerve pain, meaning that pain can last for months or even years after the rash has healed. This is called postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN. And the number of cases of PHN is higher among older adults.