3 doctors weighed in:

What is shingles?

3 doctors weighed in
Holly Barth
General Practice
2 doctors agree

In brief: Rash

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes the chicken pox.
The virus remains inactive in your body and becomes active again years later. The patient has pain/tingling/burning in a very specific area on one half of the body (dermatome-see picture). A rash appears in the same area. Someone with these symptoms should see their physician right away to get started on treatment.

In brief: Rash

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes the chicken pox.
The virus remains inactive in your body and becomes active again years later. The patient has pain/tingling/burning in a very specific area on one half of the body (dermatome-see picture). A rash appears in the same area. Someone with these symptoms should see their physician right away to get started on treatment.
Holly Barth
Holly Barth
Answer assisted by Holly Barth, Medical Student
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Dr. Danny Proffitt
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Herpes Zoster

Shingles is a resurrection of the chicken pox virus living in nerve tissue deep in the body near the brain or spinal cord.
The virus reactivates usually after childhood cases of chicken pox and then for one reason or another, reactivates and travels down large nerve roots breaking out in a blistering rash. The nerve is severely inflammed and can cause severe pain. Treated with medications.

In brief: Herpes Zoster

Shingles is a resurrection of the chicken pox virus living in nerve tissue deep in the body near the brain or spinal cord.
The virus reactivates usually after childhood cases of chicken pox and then for one reason or another, reactivates and travels down large nerve roots breaking out in a blistering rash. The nerve is severely inflammed and can cause severe pain. Treated with medications.
Dr. Danny Proffitt
Dr. Danny Proffitt
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