Herpes Zoster (or Shingles) is a viral infection characterized by a painful rash. Shingles can appear anywhere on the body, but most often as a grouping blisters on one side of the body, which follows the distribution of the nerves that give sensation to the skin.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you’ve had chickenpox, you’re carrying the shingles virus. This virus lies inactive near the spinal cord and brain and can reappear later as shingles. Luckily, there are effective vaccinations against shingles that can decrease the likelihood of developing this painful condition. Ask your primary care doctor if this may be right for you!