What is it?

Shingles is an infection caused by the virus Herpes Zoster, the same virus causing chickenpox. After getting chickenpox, the virus stays silent in the nerve ganglions and reactivates years and decades later. Shingles cause a painful rash, typically appearing as a belt shape on one side of the torso. When a person has shingles, the blisters are contagious and the virus can spread through direct contact. Complications may include postherpetic neuralgia, vision loss, neurological effects and skin infections.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Shingles

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms include sensations of pain, numbness or tingling and sensitivity to touch that are followed by rash. Also, some blisters and itching may be felt. Some people also have fever, headache, light sensitivity, and fatigue.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include culture of the blisters.


There is no cure for shingles, but antiviral drugs such as acyclovir may reduce the risk of complications. Pain relievers are also important.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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