DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Shingles rash on the chest of a 90-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. Blisters also arise, filled with fluid that contains virus particles. These blisters break to form ulcers. The ulcers dry and from crusts that fall off two to three weeks later, leaving pink, healing skin.
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