Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Shingles facts
- What is shingles? What causes shingles?
- What are shingles symptoms and signs? How long does shingles last?
- How long is shingles contagious?
- How is shingles diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for shingles? Should I visit my health care professional?
- What are the complications of shingles?
- What is postherpetic neuralgia?
- Can shingles be prevented with a vaccine?
- What are potential side effects of the shingles vaccine?
- Is shingles dangerous in pregnant women?
- Test Your IQ: Take the Shingles Quiz
- Pictures of Shingles - Slideshow
- Pictures of Shingles
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster) FAQs
- Patient Comments: Shingles - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Shingles - Experience
- Patient Comments: Shingles - Pain
- Patient Comments: Shingles - Vaccine
- Patient Comments: Shingles - Effective Treatments
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
- Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and can be spread to people who have not had chickenpox.
- Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is not related to the sexually transmitted herpes virus disease called herpes genitalis, or the oral herpes virus, herpes simplex.
- Shingles may cause pain that can continue after the rash disappears.
- Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles.
- Steroids and antiviral drugs can help prevent long-term pain after shingles if they are started within the first two days of the appearance of the rash.
- The Zostavax vaccine is available for people over 60 years of age to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles.
What is shingles? What causes shingles?
Shingles is a skin rash caused by a nerve and skin inflammation from the same virus that previously caused chickenpox. This virus is called the varicella zoster virus (VZV) and belongs to the herpes family of viruses. After an individual has chickenpox, this virus lives dormant in the nervous system and is never fully cleared from the body. Under certain circumstances, such as emotional stress, immune deficiency (from AIDS or chemotherapy), or with cancer, the virus reactivates and causes shingles. In most cases of shingles, however, a cause for the reactivation of the virus is never found. Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk for the development of shingles, although it occurs most commonly in people over the age of 60. It has been estimated that up to 1,000,000 cases of shingles occur each year in the U.S.
The herpes virus that causes shingles and chickenpox is not the same as the herpes viruses that causes genital herpes (which can be sexually transmitted) or herpes mouth sores. Shingles is medically termed herpes zoster.
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