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    Shingles - What Increases Your Risk

    Things that increase risk for shingles include:

    • Having had chickenpox. You must have had chickenpox to get shingles.
    • Being older than 50.
    • Having a weakened immune system due to another disease, such as diabetes or HIV infection.
    • Experiencing stress or trauma.
    • Having cancer or receiving treatment for cancer.
    • Taking medicines that affect your immune system, such as steroids or medicines that are taken after having an organ transplant.

    If a pregnant woman gets chickenpox, her baby has a high risk for shingles during his or her first 2 years of life. And if a baby gets chickenpox in the first year of life, he or she has a higher risk for shingles during childhood.1

    Recommended Related to Shingles

    Understanding Shingles -- Symptoms

    The symptoms of shingles include: Pain or a bruised feeling -- usually on one side of your face or body -- often along with a fever, chills, headache, or upset stomach Tingling, itching, or prickling skin, followed several days later by a group of fluid-filled blisters on a red, inflamed base of skin Deep burning, searing, aching, or stabbing pain, which may occur once in a while or last a long time  

    Read the Understanding Shingles -- Symptoms article > >

    Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a common complication of shingles that lasts for at least 30 days and may continue for months or years. You can reduce your risk for getting shingles and developing PHN by getting the shingles vaccine.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 11, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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