What to Do When Shingles Affects Your Senior’s Face

Shingles is a condition that is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Anyone who has chicken pox during their lifetime can get shingles. The virus remains dormant in the body in nerve tissue that is close to the brain and spinal cord. Then, something triggers the virus to reactivate and cause a painful rash. Although shingles doesn’t lead to death, it can have long-term effects depending on how severe it is or where the rash occurs. One place the rash can cause serious complications is on the face.

Symptoms of Shingles

When a person has shingles, they usually develop a rash that forms a band. The rash generally affects only one side of the body, but it can happen on any part of the body. It might affect only one part of the body or several. The face is actually the second most common area on which people get a shingles rash.

Before the rash appears, your aging relative may feel a stinging pain for a couple of days before the first bumps show up. Initially, the rash looks like fluid filled blisters. It can look like just scattered blisters, or there might be so many blisters that it looks like they were burned. Just like with chicken pox, the blisters eventually break and scab over. Later, the scabs dry up and fall off.

Some other symptoms the senior may have are:

  • Fatigue.
  • Being sensitive to touch.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Pain.
  • Itchiness.

Complications of Shingles on the Face

The complications of shingles rash on the face depends on what part of the face the rash is on. The worst problems can occur if the rash is near the eyes. When that happens the eyelids and other outer parts of the eye may be affect. In addition, shingles can affect the eye itself, including the cornea and the nerves that respond to light. This can cause vision problems, including permanent blindness.

Shingles rashes can also become infected or cause redness and swelling. It’s natural for people to want to cover up the appearance of shingles on their face but using makeups or lotions on the rash can make it worse. It’s best not to put anything on the rash since that can make it last longer. It could also cause the rash to become infected.

If your aging relative gets shingles, home care can help them to manage the symptoms. Home care providers can prepare cold cloths to help soothe the pain and itching. If the doctor prescribes medication for shingles symptoms, a home care provider can remind them to take it.



If you are considering home care in Shelton, CT for a senior loved one, please contact the caring staff at Executive Home Care in Stratford CT. Executive Care is operated by individuals who have dedicated their lives to providing quality in-home care services. Call today: 203-690-1963.