Shingles Treatment & Complications Head lice Careers Predoctoral Fellows Feeling tired You are older than age 60 Skip to Main Navigation Skip to Content All Health Care Professionals & Patient Safety Games Pets and Animals  Trusted Sources of Vaccine Information  About shingles (herpes zoster) (CDC) Shingles can also make your eye red and sore, affect your sight or hearing, or make it difficult to move one side of your face Yellow Fever Areas of Interest Language Assistance Services Academy councils, committees, and task forces Can Stress Trigger Shingles? Scams & Fraud The virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. After chickenpox clears, the virus stays inside the body and travels to the nerves where it sleeps. Games What Causes Shingles? News Conferences Date reviewed: January 2015 AARP Press Center Some doctors only treat symptoms of shingles, such as pain, when the disease is diagnosed later than 72 hours after the rash develops. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, for example), ibuprofen (Advil, for example), naproxen (Aleve), or tricyclic antidepressants are examples of some pain medications that may be used. Topical creams (for example, calamine lotion) may help reduce itching. NP/PA laws Anyone who's had chickenpox can get shingles. After you've been infected with chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus lies inactive in your body — mostly in spinal or cranial nerves — usually for many decades. If the virus reactivates, it can travel along nerve pathways to your skin and cause a rash to erupt. Mercury Dizziness There aren’t home remedies for shingles. But there are things you can do to help your skin heal. Herpes Review Committees Log in Find Cancer Clinical Trials Cover the rash with loose, non-stick, sterile bandages. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) If you have shingles that itch, your doctor may recommend lotions or medicines called antihistamines. ALL EMERGENCIES > Back to About Us Fecal Fat AARP EN ESPAÑOL Reduce Toxics in Food and Water Patient Gateway Preguntas frecuentes Heart Disease: What You Should Know Ébola Medline Plus Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations Find & Review The shingles vaccine is available at: Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays dormant (asleep) in your body. The virus can activate (wake up) years later and cause shingles. Menu Close menu Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Unlike chickenpox, shingles is not contagious, but lies dormant in your body after you have chickenpox. Symptoms of shingles include an itchy, painful ... Special Report America's Pain: The Opioid Epidemic Shingles – emedicinehealth Find Cancer Clinical Trials Back to Respiratory Therapy Diabetes Definitions Zika Virus Testing AHA: Many With Supposed Drug-Resistant Blood Pressure Aren't Taking Meds Some of the images are quite graphic Related Health Topics West Nile Virus Testing No one can catch shingles from you. But the virus can be spread to a person who has never had chickenpox. The virus lives in the blisters that shingles causes. It can be spread until the blisters are completely healed. If you have blisters that have not crusted over yet, you should stay away from: It's a vicious cycle: Chronic pain, like that caused by shingles, can lead to depression, and depression can worsen pain. Here are the warning signs o... Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given Flu-like symptoms: The person may get a fever or headache with the rash. EMS and Trauma Regions Enter Search Term  |  En Español Become a Volunteer AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers people to choose how they live as they age. FAQs Depression in Children and Teens "I wouldn't wish shingles on my worst enemy!" That's frequently the reaction of those who experience the pain of this common virus. Here's what you need to know to help prevent or treat the disease. Resources In This Article Cold Sores (HSV-1) Search the NHS website Search Patient & Visitor Info Catecholamines Health & Wellness Benefits (6) Who can get shingles? Pediatrics & Pediatric Surgery Medical Records KNOW in English Diet Newborn Screening DermNet NZ RANDOM RANDOM TRANSLATE TRANSLATE CLOSE SEARCH SEARCH DERMNET Allergies Urinary Tract Infection Privacy & Security Back to Care & Services A. Antiviral medications need to be started quickly, within the first 72 hours of a rash appearing, to be effective. These medications shorten the course of the outbreak by preventing viral replication. Most importantly, they minimize the chance for postherpetic neuralgia — or nerve pain that continues longer than a month, even after the rash is gone. Pain medications might also be warranted. Cool compresses and anti-itching lotions can also provide relief. The affected area should be kept clean. Billing, Insurance & Financial Assistance What Meningitis Does to Your Body Can You Get Shingles on Other Body Parts? Leaving GSKSource Herpes Viruses Association UK Treatment Leukemia Botulinum toxin into the affected area Diseases: A-Z index Predoctoral Fellows Provider Relations Sexual health Non-cancer Related Trials Cortisone when taken for a long time Reviewed by: Sonali Mukherjee, MD A-Z Index Aldosterone and Renin National Library of Medicine (NLM) Commonly Abused Drugs Ferritin Thyroglobulin Read the VIS for the shingles vaccine (Shingrix). Share Brain, Spinal Cord, and Nerve Disorders Shingles: Shingles can involve the eye. Stroke A reddened rash then appears and eruptions of blisters develop over several days within one or two characteristic bands of skin (dermatomes) on one side of the body at the waist, face, or other location. There may be few or many vesicles and, in some cases, they may merge together. The vesicles typically have a clear fluid in them that turns cloudy over time. Disease Education En Español Taking a cool bath or using cool, wet compresses on your blisters may help relieve the itching and pain. And, if possible, try to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Over-the-counter products Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Herpes zoster usually clears in 2 to 3 weeks and rarely returns. If the virus affects the nerves that control movement (the motor nerves), you may have temporary or permanent weakness or paralysis. 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