welcome to disease section for shingles 

Progression of shingles
Progression of shingles

Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a viral infection of nerves and the skin around it. It occurs when dormant chickenpox virus, varicella zoster, is reactivated in the nerve tissues. Shingles cause blisters, rashes, itching, burn-feel and localized pain. It occurs when the dormant virus wakes up and travels to the skin surface through nerve fibers. These steps define progression of shingles: formation of small bumps in clusters which convert to blisters. These blisters are filled with pus and appear as chicken pox lesions. They break out and form a crust over after drying. In the next few days, these lesions disappear. In some cases, nerve damage may last for several years. [Image used under Creative Commons License from Wikimedia]

Raised red bumps and blisters due to shingles
Raised red bumps and blisters due to shingles

A close-up view of raised red bumps and blisters caused by shingles on the skin of a patient. The bumps and blisters are painful and hurt. These may cause itchiness and tingles. The blisters become pus-filled and usually scab-out in about 10-12 days. It is being studied that painful red blisters and reddish rash generally occur only on one half of the body and usually does not spread to other body sites in most individuals. This is stated as a dermatomal distribution where the distribution is supposed to be linear or the area affected is supplied by one nerve, known as a dermatome.  

Signs and symptoms of shingles
Signs and symptoms of shingles

Raised red bumps and blisters caused by shingles on skin of a patient. Some common signs and symptoms associated with shingles are localized burning or sharp, numbness, aching muscles, stabbing pain with rashes on face, chest, back, or waist. Tingling or prickling skin with itchiness due to fluid-filled blisters on a red, inflamed base of skin. In rare cases, rashes may appear as chickenpox rashes. The blisters lead to hypersensitivity or an excessive reaction to touch. Symptoms of shingles last for around 2 to 4 weeks.

Skin infected with herpes zoster virus on the arms of a person
Skin infected with herpes zoster virus on the arms of a person

Herpes zoster (shingles) is an acute, cutaneous viral infection caused by the reactivation of varicella-zoster virus (VZV), a herpesvirus that also causes varicella (chickenpox). The symptoms may include skin hypersensitivity and pain, mild rashes or painful blisters, fever, chills, headache, etc. Herpes zoster commonly occurs on the trunk and buttocks, but it may appear on the arms, legs, or face. The infection can spread from one area to another or from one person to another and by direct contact with the fluid from the active blistering rash.

Raised red bumps and blisters caused by shingles virus
Raised red bumps and blisters caused by shingles virus

Raised red bumps and blisters caused by the shingles virus. According to reports, almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, in their lifetime. 

A man with shingles
A man with shingles

Shingles are caused by the varicella zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chicken pox. Shingles cause a painful and itchy rash that can affect any part of the body, but often it appear as a single strip of blisters on one side of the body or face.