Herpes zoster, also commonly known as shingles, is a neurological disorder caused by the reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Based on recent research and publications, we estimate that there are over four million cases of shingles in the U.S., Europe and Japan each year, of which more than half occur in the U.S.
The symptoms associated with shingles generally include localized lesions and pain. In many cases the patient may first notice localized prodomal pain; however, the first recognizable symptom of shingles is generally lesions that will continue to form for a week or two. These lesions generally follow the path of nerves that emanate from the spinal cord around the torso (thoracic); however, the infection is also commonly found on the face, neck, lower back and in certain cases, systemically.
Within several weeks, the lesions in the infected areas will typically begin to heal, and these dermatological symptoms generally will resolve within a month or less. In rare instances, lesions may never appear, but pain will be present.