Shingles facts, suggestions and information about Shingles prevention, treatment and symptom relief

Shingles is a painful condition, and a Shingles outbreak can occur to you at any time, if you've had chickenpox in the past. Learn more about this debilitating illness, what you can do to prevent a Shingles outbreak and treatments for easing the pain and discomfort of a Shingles outbreak.

Does the Shingles Vaccine Work?

A Shingles outbreak occurs when the dormant chickenpox virus in your body becomes re-activated. So the generally held belief is that you can't have a Shingles outbreak unless you've had chickenpox sometime in the past. Fortunately, there is now a Shingles vaccine available that can be adminstered to someone who has the chickenpox virus in their body, to reduce the likelihood that they'll have a Shingles outbreak. This vaccine is not 100% effective in all cases, but statistically it reduces the likelihood of having a Shingles outbreak by approximately 50%, and if you do have a Shingles outbreak your symptoms will not last as long or be as severe, as if you had not been vaccinated. If you've had chickenpox, the older you get, the more likely you are to have a Shingles outbreak. Medical research indicates that if you are 60 years or older it becomes increasingly important that you get a Shingles shot. Unfortunately, research has shown that the effectiveness of the vaccine decreases in older patients (i.e., those 80 years old or more).

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