Shingles, or herpes zoster, is caused by the chickenpox virus that remains in the nerve roots of all persons who had chickenpox and can come out in your body again years later to cause illness.

Shingles is more common after the age of 50 and the risk increases with advancing age. Shingles causes numbness, itching or severe pain followed by clusters of blister-like lesions in a strip-like pattern on one side of your body. The pain can persist for weeks, months or years after the rash heals and is then known as post-herpetic neuralgia.