How are shingles and chickenpox different?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Although both shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus, you can only get shingles if you've already had chickenpox. Chickenpox has flu-like symptoms and covers your body in red, itchy blisters. Shingles is similar, but the blisters rarely spread below your waist. In fact, they can only form above nerves infected by the virus. Chickenpox blisters can develop anywhere. There are also more serious side effects associated with shingles, such as organ damage and post-herpetic neuralgia.

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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.