Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shingles is a skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk for the development of shingles, although it occurs most commonly in people over age 60. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about shingles in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Shingles is a skin rash caused by the chickenpox virus. You can only get it if you have had chickenpox or, in rare cases, if you had the chickenpox shot. The chickenpox virus stays in your body and can cause shingles later. Shingles is most common in older people.

Shingles can start with a stinging or burning feeling. A rash usually appears on the back or chest and sometimes on the face. It starts with small red bumps that may blister. After about one week, scabs form on the rash.

Your doctor may give you medicine to ease the pain and help the rash go away faster.

No one can catch shingles from you, but they can catch chickenpox if they have not already had it or had the shot. The chickenpox virus lives in the rash from shingles, and the virus can be spread until the rash has completely dried up. If you have shingles, you should stay away from babies younger than 12 months and pregnant women.

 For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.