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Caption: Shingles. Middle-aged man with shingles on the forehead, along with vesicular eruptions and oedema (swelling caused by fluid accumulation) of the right eyelids. Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. The virus infects sensory nerves, causing the outbreak of small blisters on the skin supplied by the nerves. These are highly infectious as they are filled with fluid containing virus particles. They last around two weeks, after which the area is intensely painful due to nerve damage. Despite treatment with antiviral drugs, the virus can lie dormant in nerves for years and nearly always recurs. For an image of this patient after treatment, see C001/8451.

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