Let's Talk About Shingles

We've got the doctor-approved scoop on the causes, symptoms, treatments, and a jillion other facts and tips that can make life with shingles easier.

    Our Pro PanelShingles

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts on shingles to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Charles Crutchfield, M.D.

    Charles Crutchfield, M.D.Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University of Minnesota Medical School; Medical Director, Crutchfield Dermatology

    Eagan, MN
    Peter O’Neill, M.D.

    Peter O’Neill, M.D.Chief of Dermatology and Clinical Assistant Professor

    NYU Winthrop Hospital and NYU Long Island School of Medicine
    Mineola, NY
    William Schaffner, M.D.

    William Schaffner, M.D.Medical Director and Professor of Medicine

    National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
    Nashville, TN
    Arm and hand on fire, burning sensation concept.

    Your Essential Guide to Shingles Treatment and Prevention

    We've got everything you need to know about this tricky illness.

    Frequently Asked QuestionsShingles

    What kind of doctor treats shingles?

    Any type of board-certified primary care physician or a dermatologist can diagnose and treat shingles. Since timing is critical, see whomever is available first. Depending on your specific symptoms or complications, you may also need to see a neurologist, ophthalmologist, or a pain management specialist.

    Is it possible to get shingles more than once?

    Technically, it’s possible for shingles to return, but getting shingles a second time is not all that common and getting shingles three times is very rare. Overall, 1% to 6% of people will experience a recurrence of shingles; those who are immune-compromised are at a higher risk.

    Can you get shingles if you had the chickenpox vaccine?

    The first generation to receive the childhood varicella vaccine is about 25 years old now, so there are still several decades ahead before they’d be likely to get shingles. We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s expected that the varicella vaccine will be a twofer: People who had it should have a dramatically lower risk of chickenpox as well as shingles.

    If I didn’t have chickenpox, I don’t need the shingles vaccine, right?

    Wrong. Many people don’t recall having chickenpox and not everyone gets a rash with chickenpox. Some people only have a fever, runny nose, and body aches, so they may not realize they had it. It’s estimated that almost every adult (98%) born prior to 1980 carries the dormant virus, which can reactivate anytime, especially after age 50, so you really want to get that vaccine.

    Stephanie Wood

    Stephanie Wood

    Stephanie Wood is a award-winning freelance writer and former magazine editor specializing in health, nutrition, wellness, and parenting.