Shingles, a.k.a. herpes zoster, is a viral infection that causes a red, blistering and itchy skin rash, usually accompanied by deep, sharp, throbbing, burning and penetrating pain. It often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around the side of your torso. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have got chickenpox and recovered, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. They remain dormant in your bodies but can be reactivated in later life by physical and emotional stress, resulting in shingles.
Shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body. These signs and symptoms include pain, burning, numbness, tingling, itching, rash and fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over. Some people may also experience fever, headache, fatigue and sensitivity to light.