DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Shingles. View of a red rash on the face of a 90 year old woman caused by shingles. Shingles is a disease in which nerves become infected 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 feeding the skin, causing a rash of small, painful blisters in a defined area. Nerve damage can result in the pain persisting for months or years after the blisters have disappeared. There is no effective cure. In this patient the virus has affected the mandibular branch of the trigeminal cranial nerve, which supplies the jaw.
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