Shingles, also known as herpes zoster or zona, is a painful rash caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus in people who have previously had chickenpox. Approximately one third of people are affected with shingles at some point during their lives. Initial symptoms include a severe burning or tingling of the skin, as well as itching or numbness, followed days or a week later by a strip of fluid-filled blisters, usually contained to one side of the body. Pain can persist in some cases, even after the rash is gone, in a condition known as postherpetic neuralgia.
Treatment generally consists of medications to manage pain, and reduce the severity and duration of shingles. Having a chickenpox vaccine in childhood, or a shingles vaccine in adulthood, reduces the risk of developing shingles later in life.
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The Nerve Disorders Center of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of peripheral nerve disorders clinicians including physicians, nurse practitioners, psychological care providers and rehabilitation professionals.