Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, is a complication of the nerves caused by infection with Chickenpox earlier in life. Shingles typically affects older adults and seniors. The virus has remained dormant in the body for years, and becomes activated again in a different form: it attacks the sensory nerves and causes a rash and nerve pain in various locations. The trigger for shingles is usually a decline in immune function, ranging from an immunodeficiency disease to severe emotional distress. The hallmark symptom is a blistering rash around part of the abdomen in a single defined area, on one side of the body. Sometimes there is more than one location or the rash may affect both sides extending in a ring around the body. The blisters in the rash are contagious, but they actually spread chickenpox, not shingles!
- Immunodeficiency: Immunodeficiency is the general medical term for very low immunity, where a person is susceptible easily to many types of ... More on Immunodeficiency »
- Chicken Pox: Chicken pox, also called varicella, is an infectious viral disease with a characteristic rash. Although vaccination programs exist, it still ... More on Chicken Pox »
- Infection: Infection refers to the body reacting to a microbe or pathogen. It is somewhat distinct from “inflammation” but there is ... More on Infection »
- Rash: The causes of a rash on the skin are many. There are literally hundreds and it can take some time ... More on Rash »
- Nerve Pain: Nerve pain is a special kind of pain or pain-like sensations. It is also called “neuropathic pain” or simply ... More on Nerve Pain »
- Pustular Rash: A pustular rash is a skin rash with small pustules containing pus. It is similar but not always the same ... More on Pustular Rash »
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