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.

What is Shingles?

Shingles is a painful and persistent inflammation of the nerve endings, that is caused by re-activation of the VZV chickenpox virus that resides dormant in your body if you've had chickenpox in the past. Shingles only affects individuals who have had chickenpox, and it is estimated that approximately 1 in 3 people in the U.S. will have a Shingles outbreak in their lifetime. A shingles outbreak causes blisters and a painful rash that can last for weeks, and can result in nerve pain that lasts for years. There is no "cure" for Shingles, but a vaccine introduced in 2006 has been shown to reduce the likelihood of having a Shingles outbreak by 50%. For individuals who have had chickenpox; patients 60 years and older and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk for having a Shingles outbreak.

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