Medical Q&As

Shingles - recovery time?

How long should it take for the shingles rash to improve in an eighty three year old woman who is already in poor health?

It will take a long period of time for the rash to heal since the lady is elderly and debilitated. If the rash was very extensive and moist it could take many weeks for it to dry up and subside. Some people can be left with a permanent pockmarks on the skin from the bursting of the shingles blisters. However, this may not be problematic especially if it occurs on the trunk where it is concealed by clothing. Some sufferers experience persistent pain at the site of the rash even long after the rash has disappeared. I have already covered the issue of pain associated with shingles in a previous Ask the Doctor question which you can access through the following link: http://www.irishhealth.com/askdoc03.html?f_qid=1433. You can also learn more about shingles from our special feature on the condition at: http://www.irishhealth.com/index.html?level=4&id=1191