If I've already had shingles, can I get it again?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The risk of developing shingles a second time is low, but it can happen. Studies show that fewer than 4% of people who develop shingles (also known as herpes zoster) will have another bout of this painful condition in their lifetime. If you do develop shingles a second time, the disease will probably affect a different part of your body. A second occurrence of shingles can happen many years after the first.

Consult with your doctor about the possibility developing shingles again. 

Most people who've had shingles won't get it again. In fact, fewer than 4% of people who've had shingles develop it more than once. However, some people may develop shingles again, even if they've already had it. This usually occurs in older adults or in people with weakened immune systems.

Continue Learning about Shingles



Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Unlike chickenpox, shingles is not contagious, but lies dormant in your body after you have chickenpox. Symptoms of shingles include an itchy, painful ...

rash that forms blisters on one side of the body. They can also, in rarer cases, cause severe complications, like changes in vision and hearing, or pain lasting up to several years after the shingles rash is gone. Most people that have shingles have compromised immunity, or are over the age of 50, although 20% of the population will develop shingles at some point in their lives. Certain antiviral medications can slow down the virus and offer pain relief, but no cure exists for the virus.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.