What is shingles?

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster due to the fact that it part of the herpes group of viruses, is a viral infection that results in a very painful skin rash. The rash usually starts out as red blisters wrapping around either side of the torso. However, it can appear anywhere on the body.

It is caused by same virus as chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus, which can lay dormant in your body years after you have had chickenpox. The virus lies inactive in the nerve tissue near your brain and spinal cord.

It is not a fatal condition, and although painful, it can be treated to help reduce the symptoms and chances of complications. Most cases clear up within a few weeks. Vaccines are also available for reducing the risk of shingles.

Shingles most commonly appears in adults and those who suffer from a weak immune system, it can also develop from stress, injury and other reasons such as taking medication that may weaken the immune system, steroids are an example of this. It is also possible to get shingles more than once, although this is uncommon in most cases.

In the information in the navigation menu above, we will take an in-depth look into shingles, it’s causes, symptoms, and treatment as well as cover any further questions you may have.  


NEXT What causes shingles?

Other Articles of Interest