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Herpes zoster, more commonly known as shingles, develops when the virus that causes chicken pox (varicella zoster) reactivates after lying dormant within the nerve cells. As this virus reactivates, pain or tingling starts in a limited area, usually only on one side of the body or face. Subsequently, a rash with small blisters appears. These blisters break, leaving behind superficial ulcers that dry and form crusts.

Shingles usually resolves in two to three weeks without treatment. For people over 60, the discomfort of shingles can take many weeks to even months to resolve