Shingles: Overview

Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, is a complication of the nerves caused by infection with Chickenpox earlier in life. Shingles typically affects older adults and seniors. The virus has remained dormant in the body for years, and becomes activated again in a different form: it attacks the sensory nerves and causes a rash and nerve pain in various locations. The trigger for shingles is usually a decline in immune function, ranging from an immunodeficiency disease to severe emotional distress. The hallmark symptom is a blistering rash around part of the abdomen in a single defined area, on one side of the body. Sometimes there is more than one location or the rash may affect both sides extending in a ring around the body. The blisters in the rash are contagious, but they actually spread chickenpox, not shingles!

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.