Research has shown that every one out of three people is likely to have shingles once in their lifetime. The varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox is the same virus responsible for causing shingles. In most cases, after you’ve fully recovered from chickenpox, the virus doesn’t go away. It still exists in the central nervous system but in a dormant state.
1What Are Shingles?
Shingles are also referred to as Herpes zoster because the varicella-zoster virus that triggers this condition falls under a category of viruses known as Herpes viruses. Herpes viruses are known to hide themselves in the central nervous system and stay latent for several years after an infection. Sometimes, the nerves in the central nervous system can facilitate herpes zoster virus to travel down to the bottom of nerve cell fibers triggering a new infection.
Shingles are associated with a blistering skin rash that manifests itself in the form of a single or multiple bands also known as dermatomes. These bands appear on different parts of the body such as one side of the face, around the waistline or on one side of the trunk. Because dermatomes respond to a specific brain sensory nerve or spinal cord, the infection is often isolated around certain areas of the skin as opposed to the entire body.