Shingles is also termed as Herpes zoster. Shingles is a viral disease, characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters and more often in stripes with in the limited area of the body. Initial infection is with Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) which is in the family of Herpes- Zoster and it causes chicken pox. This virus lives in the nervous system and remains dormant stage but under certain circumstances like emotional stress, AIDS, or cancer it wakes up and virus reactivates and then travels along sensory nerve into skin and causes shingles. It is said that if anyone who ever has chickenpox is at risk for development of shingles.
Shingles is common in people of age older than 60 and individuals of all ages with conditions that weaken the immune system. It is estimated that more than one lakh people are affected every year in US.