Shingles Home > Shingles Disease

A common condition in older adults, shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is characterized by a number of symptoms, including a rash and pain. It is caused by a reinfection with the same virus that causes chickenpox, which means that people who have had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine are at risk for developing it.
 
While there is no cure for shingles, several antiviral drugs can help reduce the length and severity of the disease. In healthy individuals, shingles typically runs its course without leading to any complications. In most cases, the lesions heal, the pain subsides within three to five weeks, and the blisters leave no scars. However, serious complications may occur in some cases.
 
(To learn more about this disease, including how it is treated during pregnancy, click Shingles.)
 
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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