Complications of shingles About shingles Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it. It's caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. It's estimated that around one in every four people will have at least one episode of shingles during their life. New blisters may appear for up to a week, but a few days after appearing they become yellowish in colour, flatten and dry out.
Shingles in Adults: Symptoms, Signs, Treatment and How Contagious is it?
Shingles | Prevention and Treatment | Herpes Zoster | CDC
Close Video Overview Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. As we get older, our immune system becomes weaker and may not be strong enough to control the virus. Shingles occurs if the virus becomes active again, growing down the nerves to reach the skin and appearing as small, painful blisters. Most people who have shingles will not get it again, although on rare occasions it can reappear. Signs and Symptoms Pain, itching, and burning or tingling in a specific location on the skin are the first symptoms that develop.
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Of the 1 in 3 people who will get shingles in their lifetime, about half of those will be in people 60 or older. Seniors are most likely to get shingles, as their immune systems are more likely to be compromised. Senior citizens with shingles are more likely to experience complications than the general population, including more extensive rashes and bacterial infections from open blisters. They are also more susceptible to both pneumonia and brain inflammation , so being seen by a doctor early on for anti-viral treatment is important.
Shingles affects the nerves The shingles rash is associated with an inflammation of nerves beneath the skin. Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who's had chickenpox may develop shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus can enter your nervous system and lie dormant for years.