DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Shingles. Close-up of a reddened eye caused by herpes zoster (shingles) in a 50 year old man. This inflammation of the eye occurred prior to the appearance of the typical rash. Shingles is caused by infection of sensory nerves with the varicella- zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. The virus can remain dormant in the body for years after chickenpox, becoming active again if the immune system is weakened. It attacks nerves in the skin, causing a rash of small, painful blisters in a small area. Nerve damage can result in pain persisting for months or even years after the blisters have disappeared. There is no effective cure once the disease is established.
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