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What is shingles?

Shingles, or herpes zoster, is caused by a viral skin infection that can cause a painful blistering rash on one side of the face. It can be very painful and typically occurs in older patients.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Shingles is a nerve inflammation caused by a reawakened chickenpox virus. (Once you've had chickenpox, the virus lurks, dormant, in your body). Also called herpes zoster, shingles starts with a burning or tingling sensation followed by a rash or blisters, usually on one side of your body. During and after an attack you may get excruciating nerve pain.
Angela Lowery
Family Medicine
Shingles is a painful infection of a nerve and the area of the skin surrounding that nerve. It is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, varicella-zoster virus. Shingles main symptoms are pain and a rash that develops into itch blisters. This blisters cannot cause others to get shingles but it is a possibility a person that has not had chicken pox or has not been vaccinated against the virus, that causes chicken pox, can actually contract chicken pox from a shingles infected person.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you've had chickenpox, you could get shingles later in life.

Watch the video to learn more from Dr. Oz about shingles.


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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.