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Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin around it. It is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox.
Symptoms of shingles
An episode of shingles usually lasts two to four weeks. The first sign of the condition is a tingling sensation in the affected area, followed by pain and then a rash.
Causes of shingles
Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (the virus that causes chickenpox). You cannot catch shingles from someone else.
Diagnosing shingles
Your GP can diagnose shingles from your symptoms and the appearance of your rash. Testing is not usually necessary unless you have complications.
Treating shingles
There is no cure for shingles, but treatment can help ease your symptoms. Treatment options may include painkillers or antiviral medication.
Complications of shingles
A number of complications can occur as a result of shingles. They are more likely if you have a weakened immune system (the body’s natural defence system) or are elderly.
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Shingles treatment and what the next steps might be.