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Hi, I am just curious. A couple of years ago a father of my friend had a shingles outbreak. At least that is what he had told me. Recently, to mine surprise, he had a shingles second outbreak. I have no idea what does this mean and actually have no idea what shingles are. Could you please clarify things for me?

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Hi, shingles occur as a result of reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. This virus is also known as the cause of chicken pox. When they occur for the first time in life, they appear as an itchy rash. When you have shingles outbreak, instead of an itchy rash you have a painful one. After the healing of the chicken pox, the varicella zoster virus becomes inactive. It stays in nerve cells located next to the spinal cord. When it becomes active again, it goes to the skin trough the fibers of the nerves. As a result a rash occurs. And this is the beginning of the shingles outbreak. What is interesting about shingles is that it appears on only one side of the body. Usually shingles withdraw within a month. And after some time you the virus may become active again. As a result you have shingles second outbreak.
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