What is the varicella-zoster virus and how does it cause shingles? How are chickenpox and shingles different? Who is at risk for shingles? How is shingles treated? Can shingles be prevented? What is postherpetic neuralgia? What are other complications of shingles? Can infection with VZV during pregnancy harm the baby? What research is being done? How can I learn about or participate in clinical research? Where can I find more information about research on shingles? Where can I get more information? Glossary. This is postherpetic neuralgia, defined as pain lasting three months after onset of the rash. Watch this slideshow of shingles (herpes zoster virus) pictures and learn about causes, symptoms, treatment and vaccine information for this painful, contagious rash. What Does the Shingles Rash Look Like? Herpes zoster (also called shingles) is becoming more common as the population ages. Studies have shown that about a third of the population will experience herpes zoster during the course of their lifetime with the incidence increasing particularly after the age of 60 years. Disseminated zoster is defined as 20 lesions or more outside the involved dermatome.
Both the active varicella and zoster form of the virus can cause chickenpox. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles, while early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications. Reactivated herpes zoster affects only one side of the face or body, beginning as a rash and developing into red patches which later become blisters and sores.