What is shingles?
Shingles is an infection that causes a painful rash.
Usually you get the shingles rash on your chest and tummy, but it can appear anywhere on your body including on your face, eyes and genitals.
The rash appears as blotches on your skin, on 1 side of your body only.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the reactivation of a latent varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection. Primary VZV infection manifests as chickenpox, a highly contagious condition that is characterised by an itchy, vesicular rash. Following this initial infection, the virus enters the dorsal root ganglia and remains there as a permanent, dormant infection.
Reactivation of this latent VZV infection, generally occurring decades later, causes shingles. There is no cure for shingles and normally painkilling medication is provided to relieve symptoms.