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Herpes zoster

Hyper zoster


Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

After you get chickenpox, the virus remains inactive (becomes dormant) in certain nerves in the body. Shingles occurs after the virus becomes active again in these nerves years later.

The reason the virus suddenly becomes active again is not clear. Often only one attack occurs.

Shingles may develop in any age group, but you are more likely to develop the condition if:

  • You are older than 60

  • You had chickenpox before age 1

  • Your immune system is weakened by medications or disease

If an adult or child has direct contact with the shingles rash and did not have chickenpox as a child or a chickenpox vaccine, they can develop chickenpox, not shingles.

Symptoms

The first symptom is usually one-sided pain, tingling, or burning. The pain and burning may be severe and is usually present before any rash appears.

Red patches on the skin, followed by small blisters, form in most people.

  • The blisters break, forming small sores that begin to dry and form crusts. The crusts fall off in 2 to 3 weeks. Scarring is rare.

  • The rash usually involves a narrow area from the spine around to the front of the belly area or chest.

  • The rash may involve the face, eyes, mouth, and ears.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Fever and chills

  • General ill feeling

  • Genital sores

  • Headache

  • Joint pain

  • Swollen glands (lymph nodes)

You may also have pain, muscle weakness, and a rash involving different parts of your face if shingles affects a nerve in your face. The symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty moving some of the muscles in the face

  • Drooping eyelid (ptosis)

  • Hearing loss

  • Loss of eye motion

  • Taste problems

  • Vision problems




 

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