Herpes Zoster Infection
Shingles or herpes zoster is often a painful skin rash. It is caused by a germ called varicella zoster virus. The shingles virus infects a nerve and the skin that the nerve supplies. It most often affects only one side of the body. The face, around the eyes, and the forehead are often involved. The pain, itching, and rash make people feel uncomfortable. First, you feel pain and then a rash appears as fluid-filled blisters. The fluid in the blisters can infect other people who have never had chicken pox or a vaccine. Those people will develop chicken pox, not shingles. It is important to keep the blisters covered until they dry, heal, and scabs form. Once the blisters dry, you cannot pass the infection to anyone. It may take 3 to 4 weeks for the scabs to fully heal.