Can Shingles Appear In Your Scalp?


9 Answers

James Kent Profile
James Kent answered
Yes, shingles can appear on your scalp. If the rash does spread to the scalp, it can be very painful as it can make the head very sensitive which means grooming can also become difficult.  It can also lead to permanent scarring and bald patches if the area is not cared for properly.

Having shingles on the head can become unbearable for the sufferer as even the slightest amount of pressure on the head can be extremely painful. Even brushing the hair can become difficult as the bristles run the risk of scraping alongside the rash and bursting the blisters.

As shingles only affects one side of the body, it will also only affect one side of the scalp. Therefore, if an individual does not care for their hair properly or cannot resist the urge to scratch the rash, they could end up having bald patches on only one side of their scalp.
In medical terms, the hair loss is known as cicatricial or scarring alopecia. Once the hair follicles have been scarred the stem cells that are used for future hair growth also become damaged. This means that once the damage has been done, there is no way hair can growth again so there will be a permanent hair loss.

There are other ways a sufferer can relieve the itching and discomfort involved with contracting shingles on the scalp such as:

•Apply a cold, damp compress or cloth to the affected area.

•Try to avoid using harsh soaps or shampoos, opting for more gentle options. Likewise, avoid using products such as hairspray or mousse on the affected area.

•Put some menthol or calamine lotion on the scalp to soothe the itchiness and discomfort.

•Pat the hair dry after a shower, rather than rubbing it with a towel.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Yes you can. I have been shaving my head totally bald for almost 4 years now. Tuesday I noticed 2 small red areas on the back of my head on the left side. I just thought it was razor burn and didnt worry about it. By thursday it was covering nearly the whole left side of the back of my head  from the crown to the neck line. Its SUPER tender with the new hair growing through it. Its red, swollen, blistered, has fever, and ugly to look at. Not to mention I can't even put on a shirt without almost coming to tears. But the rash on the skin isn't that bad to deal with if you can fight the urge to scratch it. Whats so pain full is the nerve pain from under the skin every couple of minutes. Mine seems to be centered at one location each time, then moves down the nerve towards my neck. Honestly Ive never felt something with such acute pain in my 35 years. It feels like an icepick shoved in my head then slowly pulled down the nerve. Its VERY intense. I'll be fine for 2 or 3 mins, then the nerve pain strikes and all I can do is grab my head, close my eyes and grit my teeth. It last maybe 5-6 secs, but afterwards I can't even see straight for a min or so. If you've never had the pain of shingles then you have NO CLUE. If you have, then my prayers are with you.
thanked the writer.
Anita G
Anita G commented
This is my first time with this horrible disease,very painful.I am also on valtrix and it has helped. I am using some healing oils also.Marjorim down the spine to calm the nerves. Lavender and Geranium mixed with a little olive oil directly to the inflamed area. It seems to have helped me.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
You definitely CAN get shingles on the scalp. I have had it on the left side of my scalp for about four weeks, and diagnosed by the doctor. I am on an antiviral and pain medication that I already take for chronic severe pain. I am in my mid fourties. I feel for anyone with it! It is very painful. Shampooing with something that dries them a little seems helpful but it is painful to shampoo. I also have an ointment from the doctor but it gets my hair greasy. I hope this helps...The doctor said it just has to run its course!!!
Tam Wong Profile
Tam Wong answered
Yes.. I've currently got it on my scalp. It is entirely in my hair line and predominately on the left side of my scalp. If you suspect shingles on the scalp you must see a doctor to start treatment. Once shingles spreads to the face blindness is a possibility.
thanked the writer.
Deborah Goodwin
Deborah Goodwin commented
I have been plagued with this for the past 3 months......and nothing I am doing seems to be helping. It is in my hair line, on both sides of my head and over the top of my scalp. When it really flares up.....the headache is almost impossible to bear. The only temporary relief is soaking my entire head in lukewarm water. I have taken acyclovir for years, due to having repeated shingles on my right buttocks. Any suggestions?
Tam Wong
Tam Wong commented
They put me on 'valtrex' and it worked almost immediately. Yes I still am sore and aching especially in my upper shoulders and back region near my neck but the valtrex worked to clear up the rash fairly quickly.
Deborah Wacker Profile
Deborah Wacker answered
Yes, you can get shingles anywhere. Once you have had them you will be more prone to get them again but not necessarily in the same place.
Bill Profile
Bill answered
Yes, and on the scalp. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox (Varicella-Zoster Virus VZV) which can remain dormant in a person until middle age when it reappears to cause shingles. Nothing to worry about though it can be painful at the time. (Spellings correct, Blurtit moderator please note.)
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
Go to, type in shingles. In the brief scan that I did, it appears that you might be able to get them on the cranium, which is your head and scalp. If you look here and think that you might have it, then you should consider going to the doctor for treatment if necessary. Hope this helps.
james caison Profile
james caison answered
Yes you can, the most common place for shingles to pop out is around the waist line, but they will come out on other parts of your body, the last time I  had shingles it was my shoulder blade area and rib cage.

Answer Question