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What is shingles (herpes zoster)?

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Shingles (herpes zoster) happens when the varicella-zoster virus that also causes chickenpox is reactivated. Usually, you first may notice a tingling or burning pain on one side of your body or face. Within days, tiny clusters of red bumps quickly turn into painful blisters which can pop and get crusty with pus.

The area can be very painful, itchy, and tender. After one to two weeks, the blisters heal and form scabs. Shingles usually happens once. But you can get it again if your immune system is weak.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Shingles. Seek Early Treatment."

Mayo Clinic Health Letter, June 2002.

Oxman M. June 2, 2005. New England Journal of Medicine,

Douglas M. ,  2004. Drug Safety

WebMD Health News: "Shingles Vaccine to Be Routine at 60."

FDA: "FDA Licenses New Vaccine to Reduce Older Americans' Risk of Shingles."

UpToDate.

 

 

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on March 31, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Shingles. Seek Early Treatment."

Mayo Clinic Health Letter, June 2002.

Oxman M. June 2, 2005. New England Journal of Medicine,

Douglas M. ,  2004. Drug Safety

WebMD Health News: "Shingles Vaccine to Be Routine at 60."

FDA: "FDA Licenses New Vaccine to Reduce Older Americans' Risk of Shingles."

UpToDate.

 

 

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on March 31, 2019

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What is postherpetic neuralgia after shingles (herpes zoster)?

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