Advertisement

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. 

Continue Learning about Shingles

If You Had Chickenpox, You May Also Develop Shingles—Here's How
If You Had Chickenpox, You May Also Develop Shingles—Here's How
Many people have vivid memories of childhood chicken pox infections—the itchy spots, the oatmeal baths and the social isolation until you were no long...
Read More
Why is it important for seniors to get the shingles vaccine?
Dr. Aruna V. Josyula, MDDr. Aruna V. Josyula, MD
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one out of every three people 60 y...
More Answers
6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Shingles
6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Shingles6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Shingles6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Shingles6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Shingles
Who is at risk, who should get vaccinated and other key questions about shingles.
Start Slideshow
Avoiding the Shingles Vaccine? Here's Why You Should Consider It
Avoiding the Shingles Vaccine? Here's Why You Should Consider It

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.