DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Shingles rash (V1 distribution) on the forehead of a 72-year-old man. Shingles (herpes zoster) is the result of infection of sensory nerves by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. The virus can remain dormant in the nerve tracts that emerge from the spine. When re-activated, rashes appear along a single sensory nerve. In this case, rashes occur along the superior (ophthalmic) sensory nerve, which supplies sensation to the forehead. Blisters also appear, filled with fluid that contains virus particles. The blisters break, forming ulcers that dry and form crusts. The crusts fall off two to three weeks later, leaving pink, healing skin.
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