Causes and
Symptoms of Shingles

Anyone who has had chickenpox is susceptible to shingles; however, you cannot get shingles if you have not had chickenpox. Those with shingles can spread the zoster virus, but it will only affect those who have not had chickenpox or a vaccine (usually small children), those with an autoimmune disease or women who are pregnant.

The first signs of shingles are usually a tingling or burning sensation on the skin. Shingles will only affect one side of the body, and outbreaks commonly occur on the torso, but they can appear on the face or other areas.



If you are experiencing symptoms of shingles, it is important to contact your health care provider within the first 72 hours. Several antiviral medications can be used to treat shingles. For shingles pain relief, pain medication (either over-the counter medication or prescription strength) is often recommended, and can be used in combination with a variety of home remedies. Antiviral medication is a typical treatment for shingles, which can shorten the length and severity of the symptoms, preventing the severe pain often associated with Varicella Zoster Virus.

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A combination of wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloidal oatmeal baths can be used to reduce itching and discomfort while experiencing shingles.

Anyone who has had a natural chickenpox (varicella zoster virus) infection or had a varicella vaccination (such as the chickenpox vaccine) can develop shingles.

A shingles vaccine can be helpful for anyone with risk factors for shingles.