Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is known to cause two diseases: chickenpox (varicella) and shingles (herpes zoster). Chickenpox is a common contagious disease of children that usually has a benign course. However, chickenpox in adults or people with weakened immune systems can have serious complications. Second attacks of chickenpox are very rare. Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the latent VZV, commonly seen over age 50.

Signs and Symptoms

The typical rash of chickenpox is made up of groups of small, itchy blisters surrounded by inflamed skin on the trunk, scalp, face, and extremities, accompanied by low-grade fever, fatigue, headache, and loss of appetite. The typical rash of shingles is made up of large blisters that cover a large area of the body, especially the face, trunk, shoulders and neck, and legs. These eruptions follow the path of an infected nerve. Usually only a single nerve is involved, confining the rash to one side of the body. Pain after the rash has disappeared is common because the affected nerve is irritated.


Exposure to an individual with chickenpox at home, at school, or in the hospital is the likely cause of this virus. Later in life, weakening of the immune system from age or disease can make you susceptible to shingles.

Integrative Medicine Treatment Options

We combine the best of conventional medicine with the best of complementary and alternative therapies to give you optimal results.

Here are some options we use at Alliance Integrative Medicine LOCATED IN Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Acupuncture
  • Medication, Herbal Therapies and Supplements
  • Energy Healing

Our herpes zoster and varicella patients come to us from Westchester/Liberty Township, Mason, Indian Hill, Hyde Park and Loveland as well as Terrace Park, Blue Ash, Finneytown, Reading, Springdale and from locations all over the U.S.