Shingles: The Inside Story

Shingles: The Inside Story

The virus that causes Shingles may already be inside you. As you get older, you may be paying more attention to your health now than you used to. And that’s a good thing. But if you’ve ever had chickenpox, the virus that causes Shingles is inside you. And that means the painful, blistering rash of Shingles can happen to you at any time.

Are you at Risk?

It’s hard to tell when the Shingles rash will erupt but here’s what we do know:

  1. If you’ve had chickenpox, you are at risk for Shingles. And 98% of adults in the United States have had chickenpox.
  2. You’re at greater risk for Shingles as you get older.
  3. Shingles can strike at any time and it can be painful.


If you’ve had chickenpox, the Shingles virus is already inside you. The virus that causes chickenpox never leaves your nervous system and can reemerge and cause the Shingles rash.

Your risk for Shingles increases as you get older. When you’re young, your immune system is usually strong enough to keep the virus in check. But your  immune system weakens as you age, making it easier for Shingles to break through your body’s defenses. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about Shingles.

The Shingles Rash can last up to 30 days.

The Shingles rash forms where the nerves from the spinal cord connect with the skin. This area is called a dermatome. Usually the rash will only appear along a dermatone located on one side of the body.

The Shingles rash is red and blistering and can last up to 30 days. In many cases, people with Shingles may also develop long-term nerve pain, meaning that pain can last for months or even years after the rash has healed. This is called postherpetic neuralgia or PHN. As you get older, the risk of developing PHN is greater.

Here are some facts about Shingles:

*There are more than 1 million cases of Shingles each year in the United States.

*1 in 3 people will get Shingles during their lifetime.

*1 to every 4 people who get Shingles will experience some type of complication.

It can feel as bad as it looks. Here are some photos of the Shingles rash, which can take up to 30 days to heal.

*With a mild Shingles rash, a few blisters appear on the skin. This photo shows a mild case on the hand.

*With a moderate Shingles rash, a cluster of blisters form, often along one side of the torso as shown.

*With a severe Shingles rash,  blisters can merge into a large area resembling a burn. Here, the eye is affected by the rash, which can sometimes lead to impaired vision.

The pain that accompanies the rash can range from mild to severe. It’s hard to predict how severe Shingles will be. So talk to your health care provider about your risk for Shingles soon.

Talk to your doctor today:

Here are some questions to help you talk to your doctor about your risk for Shingles. Add any other questions you may have in the space provided.

*Is the Shingles virus inside me?

*Why am I at greater risk for Shingles as I get older?

*Are there other things that may increase my risk?

*Can there be complications from Shingles?

*How cold these complication affect me?

*If you’ve had chickenpox, you’re at risk for Shingles. So don’t wait to talk to your doctor.

Shingles: the Inside Story

Learn more about Shingles and find out about personal risk. Visit

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Merck & Co. Inc. pamphlet. Please call the above number or email them for more information.




About jwatrel

I am a free-lance writer and Blogger. I am the author of the book "Firehouse 101" ( 2005) part of trilogy of books centered in New York City. My next book "Love Triangles" is finished being edited and should be ready for release in the Fall. My latest book, "Dinner at Midnight", a thriller is on its last chapter. My long awaited book explains the loss of the 2004 Yankee game to Boston. I work as a Consultant, Adjunct College Professor, Volunteer Fireman and Ambulance member and Blogger. I have a blog site for caregivers called 'bergencountycaregiver', a step by step survival guide to all you wonderful folks taking care of your loved ones, a walking project to walk every block, both sides, of the island of Manhattan "MywalkinManhattan" and discuss what I see and find on the streets of New York and three sites to accompany it. One is an arts site called "Visiting a Museum", where I showcase small museums, historical sites and parks that are off the beaten track both in Manhattan and outside the city to cross reference with "MywalkinManhattan" blog site. Another is "DiningonaShoeStringNYC", featuring small restaurants I have found on my travels in this project, that offer wonderful meals for $10.00 and under. So be on the lookout for updates on all three sites and enjoy 'MywalkinManhattan'. The third is my latest site, "LittleShoponMainStreet", which showcases all the unique and independent shops that I have found on my travels throughout and around Manhattan. I have started two new blog sites for the fire department, one "EngineOneHasbrouck HeightsFireDepartmentnj" for the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department to discuss what our Engine Company is doing and the other is "BergenCountyFireman'sHomeAssociation" for the Bergen County Fireman's Association, which fire fighters from Bergen County, NJ, go to the Fireman's Home in Boonton, NJ to bring entertainment and cheer to our fellow brother fire fighters quarterly.
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1 Response to Shingles: The Inside Story

  1. jwatrel says:

    Please call the above number or email them for more information.

    Liked by 1 person

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