Shingles is a relatively mild virus-born infection affects nerves and the skin that surrounds them. The same virus that causes shingles also causes the chickenpox that so many children get. Statistics show that the average person has a one in four chance of suffering from shingles during his or her lifetime, so this makes it one of the most common minor illnesses. Shingles do not usually produce any serious health damage, but the doctor might decide to send the patient to a hospital in exceptional cases, for example, if complications develop or this is a repeat attack. Children and pregnant women might also require special treatment that could necessitate hospitalization.

1. A very grievous condition

Anyone who suffers from shingles soon discovers that it can be very painful. Since everyone’s pain thresholds vary, it is hard to generalize. A look at how patients describe this pain to doctors show that some feel a continual pain, while others feel as if their skin is burning, or they might say it seems like a stabbing pain. When doctors ask sufferers to rate the pain on a scale, some give it a mild rating, but others say they find it very hard to bear.

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