Shingles (herpes zoster virus)

Herpes zoster (shingles) is caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that has been dormant since primary infection (i.e., chickenpox). It is characterised by pain in the area of the affected nerve, and crops of clustered vesicles (small fluid-filled spots) in the same area. Pain may occur days before the rash appears, or no rash may appear at all, which makes diagnosis difficult. Incidence is higher with age, and severity of symptoms is also much greater with age.

For more information on how acupuncture may be able to help with the symptoms of shingles, please download this factsheet.