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Can you get shingles in more than one location?

Updated April 17, 2017

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by a flareup of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which also causes chickenpox. Although it's possible to develop shingles symptoms on more than one part of the body, it's not likely.

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Identification

After chickenpox, VZV goes dormant in some nerve cells of the body; when it reactivates in a nerve, it causes symptoms, including pain and rash, along the path of that nerve, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Features

Because shingles symptoms appear along the path of a nerve, they are usually limited to one side of the body, reports the National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus website.

Location

The sites most commonly affected by shingles outbreak include, says MedlinePlus, the trunk of the body or the head, including the face.

Effects

Disseminated shingles, which are in more than one place, may occur in people who are immunocompromised (with weakened immune systems), according to MedlinePlus.

Considerations

If pain and rash occur in more than one place on the body, it is generally an indication that shingles is not the cause, and further testing may be necessary.

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About the Author

Erik Steel is a graduate of the University of Michigan, earning his bachelor's degree in Russian. Steel has worked as writer for more than four years and has contributed content to eHow and Pluck on Demand. His work recently appeared in the literary journal "Arsenic Lobster."

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