7 doctors weighed in:

Is it possible to get shingles without having had chicken pox?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bonnie Bock
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
4 doctors agree

In brief: Yes and no

Chickenpox usually precedes shingles by many years or decades.
However, chicken pox can be very mild, and not diagnosed, or the illness may be forgotten. An infection with chicken pox virus, whether a classical illness with many lesions, or a few lesions, always precedes shingles. A shingles vaccine or adults over 50 or 60 years, reduces the severity and incidence of shingles.

In brief: Yes and no

Chickenpox usually precedes shingles by many years or decades.
However, chicken pox can be very mild, and not diagnosed, or the illness may be forgotten. An infection with chicken pox virus, whether a classical illness with many lesions, or a few lesions, always precedes shingles. A shingles vaccine or adults over 50 or 60 years, reduces the severity and incidence of shingles.
Dr. Bonnie Bock
Dr. Bonnie Bock
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics

In brief: 2 possible ways

Over 90% of adults who don't think they had chickenpox have blood evidence they did.
These have the same frequency of shingles as those who remember. Those who received the vaccine starting in the 1990's can also get shingles, although the frequency has been lower than those with wild chickenpox. Otherwise you cannot get shingles. You never want to get chickenpox as an adult. It can be deadly.

In brief: 2 possible ways

Over 90% of adults who don't think they had chickenpox have blood evidence they did.
These have the same frequency of shingles as those who remember. Those who received the vaccine starting in the 1990's can also get shingles, although the frequency has been lower than those with wild chickenpox. Otherwise you cannot get shingles. You never want to get chickenpox as an adult. It can be deadly.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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Dr. Bahman Omrani
Pain Management

In brief: Yes

You may have had chickenpox or at least were exposed to it in order to get shingles.
The virus enters your body and causes a flu like syndrome and most of the time there is associated rash (viral exanthem) which is called chicken pox. In a few percentage the rash may not be present or may be faint and short lived. In this case the egg must come before the chicken!

In brief: Yes

You may have had chickenpox or at least were exposed to it in order to get shingles.
The virus enters your body and causes a flu like syndrome and most of the time there is associated rash (viral exanthem) which is called chicken pox. In a few percentage the rash may not be present or may be faint and short lived. In this case the egg must come before the chicken!
Dr. Bahman Omrani
Dr. Bahman Omrani
Thank
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