Shingles definition - MedicineNet Shingles: An acute infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus as causes chickenpox. Shingles is most common after the age of 50 and the risk rises with advancing age.
Shingles is often treated with an antiviral medicine to reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms. These medicines work better if you start taking them in the first 3 days after you get the rash.
After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body.
"The patients describe a dramatic improvement in pain,'' he says. Shingles occurs when the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox reactivates and causes a painful rash on the trunk or other body parts.
At this point I know as I am pregnant AND I have shingles and it absolutely, positively sucks. It can become active due to a weakened immune system or a high level of stress.
After you have chickenpox (usually as a child), the virus that causes it stays inactive in your body inside certain nerve cells. Most of the time your immune system keeps the virus in these cells.
Almost 1 out of 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, causes a painful, blistering skin rash that can last 2 to 4 weeks.
Also called herpes zoster, shingles can come back a second or, rarely, a third time. If your immune system is healthy: Your short-term chances of getting shingles again are very low.