Shingles 俗稱蜘蛛瘡、生蛇 (Herpes Zoster 帶狀皰疹), an awful skin rash, is caused by the varicella zoster virus 水痘帶狀皰疹病毒, usually occurring in a band, a strip, or a small area on one side of the face or body.

Shingles   clickhere_blue25
帶狀皰疹   clickhere_orange25

Shingles is common in elderly and people, having weak immune systems, on account of certain medicines, injury and stress etc. Most people, getting shingles, will get better and will not get it again.  However it is possible to get shingles more than once.

When the virus, causing chickenpox 水痘 recurrent in human body, shingles develop. After getting improvement from chickenpox, the virus is dormant in the nerve roots. For some patients, the aforesaid virus stays dormant permanently. In others, the virus arise when aging, disease or stress decreases the immune system. Some medicines may trigger the virus to arise, causing a shingles rash. It is not clear why this happens. But after the virus becomes active again, it can only cause shingles, but not chickenpox.

Shingles are NOT infectious, spreading amongst people.  But a person who hasn’t had chickenpox before and who hasn’t gotten the chickenpox vaccine may get shingles from a person suffering shingles rash.


  • At first a headache or be sensitive to light.
  • May feel like having flu but not have a fever.
  • Later feeling itching, tingling, or pain in a certain area.
  • The rash turns into clusters of blisters filling with fluid and then crust over.
  • It takes 2 to 4 weeks for the blisters to heal, may-be leaving scars
  • Some people only get a mild rash. And another does not get a rash at all.

Possibly you could also feel dizzy or weak, having long-term pain or a rash on face, changes in vision, changes in your thinking, or a spreading rash.

Shingles can be treated with medicines including antiviral medicines and medicines for pain.  Anyone who has had chickenpox before can get shingles. The chance of getting shingles increases for people older than 50 or if having a weak immune system.

There is a shingles vaccine for adults, to lower chances of getting shingles and to prevent long-term pain after shingles.

Vaccine Side Effects
In most cases, shingles vaccine induces no severe side effects.  Even in some cases the side effects are usually temporary and mild, lasting a few days such as headache or redness, soreness, swelling, or itching where the shot was given.




Ruth’s shingles caused so much pain she couldn’t bear to put on her clothes or have the sheets touch her skin. Her shingles symptoms lasted for several months.

Sarah had it easier. Shingles only made her feel sick for a few days. She felt a little itchy for a while, but was back to her old self in a few weeks.

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New York Times
By JANE E. BRODYOCT. 3, 2007

NEW YORK — Maybe you haven’t heard anything about the shingles vaccine. Or maybe you have, but decided against getting it for any of a number of reasons like these:

– Although it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and by the European Commission for people 60 and older, you are only 45.
– It protects just half of those vaccinated, and you would just as soon take your chances.
– No one yet knows how long the benefits will last.
– No one yet knows about delayed side effects.
– You do not know anything about shingles, so how common or bad can it be?
– Your insurance does not cover it.
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Genital herpes? It’s not what you think.  It is misunderstood. But having it is normal.  We help people to get the facts straight.  This is what other ‘herpes’ sites don’t tell you:
The more you know, the less you worry
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