If you have chickenpox when you were younger, you may be at risk for developing shingles. Shingles is a reactivation of the varicella-zoster, which is also a form of herpes. Shingles is painful and does not tend to resolve without treatment. Those who are older or have a weakened immune system are at most risk for developing shingles. If you have been wondering if what you have is shingles, you might find some clues here.


1. What Is Shingles?

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same one that causes chickenpox. Only those that have had chickenpox in the past can develop shingles. In rare cases, people who of only had the chickenpox vaccine may develop it. After the chickenpox has resolved, the virus remains in the body. It lies in a dormant state in the nervous system in nerve cells located in the spine. It is not known what causes the virus to reactivate, but sometimes decades later, the virus reactivates and travels along the nerve paths to become shingles. Those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for developing shingles.  


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