Shingles and YouHealth Tips
Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful rash disease. Shingles can lead to severe nerve pain that can last for months or years after the rash goes away. It is most common in older adults. Almost one of every three persons will develop shingles in their lifetime.
Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus - the same virus that cases chickenpox. If you have ever had chickenpox, you can get shingles. Your risk of getting shingles and having more severe pain increases as you get older. People who have compromised immune systems, caused by certain cancers, infections, or drugs, are also at high risk of getting shingles.
It is recommended that people age 50 or older get a shingles vaccine. The shingles vaccine is available at Local Health Departments, in pharmacies and doctors' offices.
If you have shingles, do not touch the rash, and keep it covered. Stay away from pregnant women, premature infants and people with weakened immune systems until the rash crusts over.