Shingles – Causes and Risk Factors

Shingles is a medical condition that results from the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox when it infects the body. [1] After the chickenpox, it goes into hiding in the nervous system. As a viral infection, shingle causes a painful rash.

Shingles can occur in different parts of the body, but it’s widespread to be a stripe of blisters that wrap around the torso’s left or right side. Note that shingles are not a life-threatening condition. Some vaccines can help in reducing the risk of shingles in humans.

This article reviews the possible causes and risk factors of shingles in humans.

Old Age

Shingles is a widespread condition in people who are above the age of 50. As an individual gets older, the risk of having shingles increases. There’s an essential part of the immune system called the T cells or the T lymphocyte. The T cells’ function decreases along with the aging.

A decrement in the T cells’ function causes the weakening of the immune system and increases sickness risk. Generally, older adults are prone to various illnesses due to their immune systems.

Some sicknesses are commonly associated with the elderly, including skin infections like bacterial or fungal foot infections, cellulitis, drug-resistant infections, and viral infections. [2] Individuals above the age of 65 are also prone to suffer from bacterial pneumonia, influenza, gastrointestinal diseases, and urinary tract conditions.