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Shingles (herpes zoster)
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Shingles (herpes zoster)
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Viral Illnesses

Shingles is a skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. As the virus reactivates, it causes pain and tingling and eventually a rash of short-lived blisters. The word shingles is come from the Latin word cingulum, meaning belt or girdle.

Risk factors

About 20 percent of people who have had chickenpox eventually develop shingles. The virus is more likely to reappear in adults age 50 or older or people with weakened immune systems. Most people develop shingles only once, but recurrences are possible.

Shingles isn't contagious, but the virus can cause chickenpox in anyone who hasn't had chickenpox before, and the infection can be serious for certain groups of people. If you have blisters from shingles, avoid physical contact with:

  • Anyone who's never had chickenpox

  • Anyone with a weakened immune system

  • Newborns

  • Pregnant women, because the infection is dangerous to a growing fetus

Once your blisters scab over, you're no longer contagious.

When to seek medical advice

Seek treatment for shingles as soon as you notice symptoms. Prompt intervention can curtail the infection and possibly decrease your chances of complications.

If a rash develops anywhere near your eyes, see your doctor immediately. If left untreated, shingles in this area could lead to an infection of your cornea, which can cause temporary or permanent blindness.


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  • Pain Relief for Shingles PHN Pain Relief Information, Pain Management and Pain Relief Products for Pain Relief of Herpes Zoster, Post Therapeutic Neuralgia, Shingles, as painful conditions that affect the human body.

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
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