Shingles, or herpes zoster, is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus can lie dormant in the body for many years and re-emerge as shingles, usually in a line on one half of the body. Shingles appear as a painful rash. It consists of red patches of skin with small blisters (vesicles) that look very similar to early chickenpox. Shingles usually clears in 2 - 3 weeks. But pain (post-herpetic neuralgia) may last for months or years.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885