Shingles

Don't shrug off shingles

Harvard Health Blog

If you had chickenpox as a kid, there is a good chance you may develop shingles later in life. "In fact, one in three is predicted to get shingles during their lifetime," says Anne Louise Oaklander, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Nerve Unit at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

The same varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. After the telltale spots of chickenpox vanish, the virus lies dormant in your nerve cells near the spinal cord and brain. When your immunity weakens from normal aging or from illnesses or medications, the virus can re-emerge. It then travels along a nerve to trigger a rash in the skin...

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