April 25, 2023

Can shingles leave scars? A guide to understanding shingles scarring

Can Shingles Leave Scars?

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. While shingles can be a painful and uncomfortable experience, it is generally not known to leave scars. However, in some cases, shingles can leave scars. This article will guide you to understand shingles scarring and how it can be prevented.

Understanding Shingles Scarring

Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus. The virus remains dormant in the body after recovering from chickenpox, and it can return later in life as shingles. The rash associated with shingles develops in the area where the nerve cells are infected with the virus. The rash typically lasts two to four weeks and often results in scabs or blisters. The rash scabs over and begins to heal after a few days.

Although shingles can be painful, it should not leave any scars. However, if the blisters become infected or if you scratch the area too much, it can lead to skin damage, which results in permanent scarring.

Preventing Shingles Scarring

The best way to prevent shingles scarring is to avoid scratching the rash or blisters. Scratching the rash can lead to an infection or cause the blisters to burst, which can result in permanent scarring. If you are experiencing itching or discomfort, try to relieve it with an ice pack or a cool, wet compress.

Also, avoid wearing tight, constrictive clothing or tight-fitting shoes that can rub against the rash. Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and cotton socks are recommended until the rash has healed completely.

Another way to prevent scarring is to keep the affected area clean and dry. Clean the rash with mild soap and water, and pat the area dry with a clean towel. Avoid using harsh or scented soaps or lotions, which can irritate the rash.

If you are concerned about scarring, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may recommend using an ointment or cream to promote healing and reduce the risk of scarring.


Is shingles scarring common?

No, shingles scarring is not common. However, if the blisters become infected or if you scratch the area too much, it can lead to skin damage, which results in permanent scarring.

Can shingles scars be removed?

Yes, there are a few treatments for shingles scars. These include laser treatments, chemical peels, and dermabrasion. Talk to your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.

How long does it take for shingles scars to fade?

How long it takes for shingles scars to fade depends on the severity of the scarring. Mild scarring may fade within a few months, while more severe scarring may take several years to fade.

In conclusion, while shingles is not known to leave scars, skin damage can occur from scratching the rash or if the blisters become infected. Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent scarring by avoiding scratching, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and practicing good hygiene. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about scarring or need advice on how to promote healing.

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