Health & Wellness

How you get shingles and advice for dealing with the skin condition

Shingles is a very painful skin rash that will affect one out of every three people in the U.S. in their lifetime. Each year, nearly 1 million Americans experience the uncomfortable condition.

So, how do you get it? Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, and after a person has chicken pox, the virus stays inactive in the body. It can reactivate years later and result in shingles. People tend to be more at risk of getting shingles when their immune systems are weaker than normal, and it's common for people to get the rash when they are already suffering from an illness or stress.

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What is Shingles - and how do you get it?

Play Video - 0:52

What is Shingles - and how do you get it?

Play Video - 0:52

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Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another, but people who have not had chicken pox are at risk of getting chicken pox from someone with shingles. So if you haven’t had chicken pox, do not touch someone's shingles' rash or blisters.

Shingles may start as an itching, tingling or burning pain in a single area or on one side of the body or face. It may also cause you to feel sick. About two or three days after the initial pain, an itchy, blistering, painful red rash will appear on your body — and can last for up to 30 days.

Talk to your doctor if you think you have shingles or are at risk, and watch the video above for more details on the condition.

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