Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by a virus. The rash usually appears in a band or patch on one side of the face or body. People who develop shingles can also experience headaches, light sensitivity, and a feeling of being generally unwell. This can be followed by itching or intense pain in a particular area which will turn into a rash and blisters.
The disease is more common in older adults, although younger people can develop shingles particularly if they have a weak immune system or are suffering from physical or emotional stress.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox – the varicella zoster virus (VZV). If you have had chickenpox as a child, the virus remains dormant in the body and can be reactivated later in life. The disease is treated using antiviral medicines and pain medication.
Is it preventable?
Yes, shingles vaccine are available which lowers your chances of getting shingles and can also prevent long-term pain which can be associated with shingles.