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Shingles is a viral infection which is also known as herpes zoster . It causes a painful rash and it often appears as a band of blisters that wraps from the middle of the back around one side of the chest to the breastbone . It is also possible that other parts of the body can be involved as well , including your neck , face or scalp . In general , the pain of shingles can be unbearable , and the cause might not be instantaneously obvious . However when the rashes and the blisters begin to become

visible on one side of the body , it 's more easily identified as shingles

The main causal agent of shingles is the varicella-zoster virus , which is also known to cause chickenpox . In fact a person who has had chickenpox , this virus lies inactive or in a dormant state in the nerves . It is only after several years , the virus may reactivate as shingles . Though shingles is not a life-threatening condition , it is very painful . Occasionally , the rash leads to a devastating complication called postherpetic neuralgia which is a condition that causes the skin to remain painful and sensitive to touch for even months or even years after the rash clears up (Mayo Clinic , 2007

The symptoms of shingles are sometimes varied . Often it is seen that some people have mostly itching whereas some of them feel pain from the gentlest touch or even with a breeze . In general in most of the people suffering from shingles it is a band , called a dermatome , spanning one side of the trunk around the waistline . Besides it is often sent that any person who has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles

Researchers have found that in the original battle with the varicella-zoster virus during a chickenpox attack , some of the virus particles leave the skin blisters and move into the nervous system Years later when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates , the virus moves back down the long nerve fibers that extend from the sensory cell bodies to the skin . Thereafter the viruses begin to multiply and the telltale rash erupts , and the person now has shingles (National Institute of Neurological Diss and Stroke , 2007

According to the statistics it appears that one in ten people who have had chickenpox will suffer from shingles some time in their adult life and the only reason for this is that the chicken pox virus lies inactive or dormant in the nerves along the spine for a number of years . Once the virus becomes activated it results in shingles as the virus travels along the nervous system , causing damage (Alward , 2003 . In many cases of herpes zoster infections not only result in acute pain but serious consequences , including postherpetic neuralgia and damage to ocular tissues

In general , depending on the nerves involved , shingles can affect many parts of the body . The first symptom of shingles is often extreme sensitivity or pain in a broad band on one side of the body . The people with shingles...

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