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Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus stays in your nerve tissue and can cause shingles later in life.
Shingles usually appears in a band, a strip, or a small area on one side of the face or body. It is also called herpes zoster.
Shingles is more common in older adults and people who have weak immune systems because of stress, injury, certain medicines, or other reasons.
Last Revised: December 18, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
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