Ask A Doctor: Can You Get Shingles More Than Once?

microsoft, ask a doctor: can you get shingles more than once?

Shingles image

Expert opinion from Marcelle Freire

Doctor of Medicine · 3 years of experience · Brazil

While it’s not what you see often, it’s something that is eventually possible. Herpes-Zoster is a dermatosis caused by the reactivation of the Varicella-Zoster virus, the same cause of chickenpox. Once in contact with the virus, the patient develops chickenpox and, after recovery, the virus lies dormant in the peripheral nerve ganglia. In situations of compromised immunity, the virus can manifest itself again, this time as herpes zoster, characterized by often reddened and blistered, very painful, burning skin lesions, which normally follow an approximately linear and unilateral path in one half of the body (corresponding to the path of the affected nerve). As the virus remains in the body, lodged in the nerve ganglia, the disease, in theory, can manifest itself again (although this is not what happens in practice).

→ Learn more about shingles: See the causes, symptoms, treatment options and more.

→ See more questions and expert answers related to shingles.

Expert opinion from Sanju Sarangan

Doctor of Medicine (MBBS) · 2 years of experience · India

Shingles mostly just occur once, however in rare cases might recur again. Recurrence is most often noticed in patients with poor immunity due to being on immunosuppressive drugs, steroids and sometimes in immunosuppressive disorders such as HIV. While it is common for shingles to occur only once, they can recur.

Expert opinion from Gustavo Campos

Doctor of Medicine · 9 years of experience · Brazil

Yes, even if you’ve had shingles before, they can reappear. This, however, is uncommon. To prevent shingles from recurring, immunization may be advised.

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Disclaimer: This is for information purpose only, and should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. These are opinions from an external panel of individual doctors, and not to be considered as opinion of Microsoft. Please seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns.
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