2 What Is It?The technical term for Shingles is Herpes Zoster. It is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.
3 Signs & SymptomsPain that is itching, stabbing, or shooting.Tingling feeling in or under the skin, which is red in the affected area.Fever, chills, and headache.Upset stomach.After a few days, a rash appears as a patch of raised dots, usually on one side of the body. The rash eventually develops into round, fluid-filled, painful blisters. These blisters will begin to dry out within a few days or weeks.
4 CausesShingles occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox starts up again in your body. After you get better from chickenpox, the virus is dormant (“sleeps”) in your nerve roots. In some people, it stays dormant forever. In others, the virus "wakes up" when disease, stress, or aging weakens the immune system. It is not clear why this happens. But after the virus becomes active again, it can only cause shingles, not chickenpox.
5 CureThere is no cure for shingles, but treatment may help you get well sooner and prevent other problems. The sooner you start treatment, the better it works. Treatment may include:Antiviral medicines, sometimes given with steroid medicines, to help you get well sooner and feel less pain.Medicines to help long-term pain. These include antidepressants, pain medicines, and skin creams.