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Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

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Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Shingles (herpes zoster) is characterized by a painful skin rash that occurs from the reactivation of the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster). Most children are infected with the varicella-zoster virus, which lies dormant in the spinal nerves. Exposure to the virus boosts adult immunity so that reactivation usually occurs only if the immune system is suppressed. Shingles usually affects older adults with weakening immune systems or in immunosuppressed patients, but can occur at an age.

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What are shingles (herpes zoster)?

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Shingles (herpes zoster) is characterized by a painful skin rash that occurs from the reactivation of the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster). Most children are infected with the varicella-zoster...

What are the symptoms of shingles?

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Prodromal phase - Shingles symptoms usually begin with a prodromal phase that is characterized by tingling, itching, or burning of the skin. General symptoms of headach...

What are the causes of shingles?

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Shingles is caused by an activation of the varicella-zoster virus. After a patient is infected with chickenpox, the immune system develops antibodies to protect against...

Shingles vaccine

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The varicella-zoster vaccine is currently given in two doses. The first dose is recommened at age 12 to 15 months and the second at 4 to 6 years. It is also approved as...

What are risk factors for shingles?

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Shingles can develop in anyone infected with the varicella-zoster virus. Almost all adults in the US have been exposed to the varicella virus.

What are the treatments for shingles (herpes zoster)?

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Shingles treatments are available to minimize pain and reduce the duration of skin symptoms.

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