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Shingles is a painful, blistering skin rash brought on by a dormant virus in people who have had chickenpox. It rarely lasts longer than a couple of weeks and almost never returns. Those most likely to develop shingles are over 60 years old, had chickenpox before 1 year of age, and have compromised immune systems.  If you fall into any of these categories, consider getting a shingles vaccine before it’s too late. If you get shingles, in addition to medications prescribed by your doctor, there ways to lessen the discomfort until the virus runs its course

— Cool wet compresses

— Soothing baths and lotions, including calamine lotion

— Staying in bed until your fever subsides

And remember: stay away from anyone who has never had the chickenpox. Shingles is contagious.

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