Shingles is a skin condition caused by the action of the varicella zoster virus (VZV), and characterized by a painful localized rash. Many people are vaguely aware of this disease though most are ignorant of the many vital facts about its nature and incidence.
Here are 7 things people commonly do not know about shingles – awareness of these facts may go a long way in helping you or a loved one suffering from this condition.
1. The shingles virus lives inside the body for many years before disease occurs
The varicella zoster virus is the one responsible for causing chickenpox in human beings. Shingles occurs due to the reactivation of this virus in individuals who have had chickenpox at some point in time in their lives. What happens is that when a person recovers from chickenpox, the VZV is eliminated from most parts of the body, but some remains mysteriously dormant in the area around the spinal cord. This residual virus may get reactivated at any time and what causes this seemingly unprecedented shingles outbreak is not well understood. In most individuals, shingles occurs many years post their contraction of chickenpox and the virus responsible for it has been thriving in their body all this while!