According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 1 out of 3 people in the U.S. will get shingles during their lifetimes. While most people will get shingles only once, it is possible to get it a second or even a third time. The risk of getting shingles increases as you get older, the CDC says. The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which is severe pain in the areas where the shingles rash occurred. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Right now shingles is actually increasing among adults in the U.S..
What You Can Do
The only way to avoid getting shingles is getting vaccinated. The CDC wants healthy adults of 50 years and older to get two doses of the shingles vaccine Shingrix®. If you suffer from shingles, there are several antiviral medicines available including acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. As mentioned above, shingles can be very painful. The CDC suggests to use pain medication to mitigate some of the pain. Other remedies to relive some of the itching include wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloid oatmeal baths. If you think you might have shingles, call you healthcare provider as soon as possible.
For more information about shingles visit: https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/overview.html