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Shingles Vaccination Study: Contraindications, Side Effects

Research presented at the annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy suggests that too few American adults have been vaccinated for shingles. Researchers found that less than 20 percent of Americans ages 60 and older have been vaccinated, while the rate is less than half that for those in their 50s.

Shingles is a viral infection that causes painful rashes. The virus, varicella-zoster, is the same virus that causes chicken pox. Since a chicken pox breakout, usually experienced during childhood, the virus lies dormant and inactive in the nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. When the shingles virus is reactivated, it can appear anywhere on your body, but most often appears as single strips of blisters that wrap around the sides of your torso.

In order to determine if you have shingles, look for these key symptoms:

  1. Pain, burning, numbness, tingling
  2. Red rash
  3. Fluid-filled blister that break open and crust over
  4. Itching
  5. Fever, chills and aches
  6. Headaches
  7. Fatigue

One or all of these symptoms could be an indication of an activated shingle virus, however the most common one is pain and blisters. You’re at risk of developing shingles if you’re older than the age of 50. Some experts estimate that half of those over the age of 85 have or will experience shingles at some point in their lives. Certain disease that weaken the immune system can increase risk, along with cancer treatments, medications and the prolonged use of steroids.

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

Learn more about Dr. Rokhsar | Dr. Rokhsar's Google Scholar