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How do I know if I have shingles?

If you have chicken pox in your past, you can shingles in your future! This is because the same virus that caused your chicken pox as a child can cause shingles as an adult. The virus, called varicella zoster virus, resides in nerve tissue long after chickenpox have healed and during times of physiological stress can re-emerge as the rash we know as "shingles." This rash occurs in a ribbon-like pattern on either (not both) sides of the body and does not cross the midline. It consists of tiny, painful blisters with a pink base that eventually rupture, crust over and heal. Occasionally the pain from these blisters can last for months after they have healed. 

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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.