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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

Help: To find an Illness or Condition . Select a letter from A - Z of Illnesses & Conditions. Or Scroll lists. Or Use Search.

 

Shingles


Shingles: Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus; the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles. An episode of shingles typically lasts around two to four weeks.

Shingles can occur at any age, but is most common in people who are over the age of 70. It is much less common in children. There is no cure for shingles, but a vaccine called Zostavax can reduce your chances of developing the condition. You can’t give shingles to someone else, and you can’t catch shingles from someone with shingles.


Shingles is not usually serious, but you should see your doctor as soon as possible if you recognise the symptoms. Early treatment may help reduce the severity of your symptoms and the risk of developing complications. You should also see your doctor if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system (the body's natural defence system).

 


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies
    


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