What are Shingles? Shingles are an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that also causes chickenpox. The virus can live in your body for several years after the infection from chickenpox has subsided, before reactivating and coming back as shingles. Shingles are also commonly known as herpes zoster. This is a type of viral infection that can be characterized by a red rash on your skin that causes a burning sensation and pain. Shingles normally pop up as a streak of blisters, typically on the neck, face, or torso. In most cases, shingles usually disappear within 2 to 3 weeks. A case of shingles will rarely occur in the same person more than once. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that 1 out of 3 people in America will experience a case of shingles at least once in their life.
Shingles – Symptoms And Causes Shingles, herpes zoster or zoster is a viral infection that appears as a painful rash. The varicella-zoster virus – the same virus responsible for chickenpox – causes it, and anyone who has contracted chickenpox before can get herpes zoster. This virus stays inactive in the body for many decades after getting chickenpox, typically in the cranial or spinal nerves. When the virus reactivates as zoster, it travels along the nerves to the skin and causes rashes to erupt. While this infection is not life-threatening, it can be excruciating. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) claims that herpes zoster has been steadily increasing in the United States and that roughly one out of three Americans will develop the infection in their lifetime. Vaccines can significantly minimize the risk of developing herpes zoster while prompt treatment can shorten the infection and mitigate the chances of further complications. Generally, the risk of contracting this infection increases as we age; hence, you should consider getting a vaccine if you are over 50.