Glossary of Terms

  • Blister (bliss-ter)

    A fluid-filled bubble that appears on the skin.

  • Chickenpox (chick-en-poks)

    A contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus that usually occurs in children.

  • Chronic condition (kron-ik kun-dish-hn)

    A persistent medical condition that won’t go away.

  • Dermatome (dur-muh-tome)

    The area where one of the nerves from the spinal cord connects with the skin.

  • Dormant (door-mant)

    Inactive or hidden.

  • Immune system (ih-mune sis-tum)

    A network of cells, tissues, and organs that protects you from bacteria, parasites, and other potentially harmful organisms that can invade your body and cause illness. It’s your body’s natural defense system.

  • Nervous system (nur-vuss sis-tum)

    The organ system that coordinates actions and transmits signals between different parts of the body.

  • Ophthalmic Shingles (off-thal-mic shing-ulls)

    Shingles that occurs at or near the eye. In rare cases, this type of Shingles can cause impaired vision. Ophthalmic Shingles is also called herpes zoster ophthalmicus.

  • Physical trauma (fizz-ick-ull trah-mah)

    An injury to the body, or part of the body, caused by an outside force.

  • Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) (post-her-pet-ick nur-all-jah)

    A complication of Shingles, caused by damage to the nervous system, in which the person experiences long-term nerve pain persisting or appearing more than 90 days after the onset of the Shingles rash.

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome (ram-zee hunt  sin-drome)

    Also called herpes zoster oticus or Ramsay Hunt syndrome type II, Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a very rare complication of Shingles in which the virus spreads to nerves of the face. People may also experience hearing loss, or a ringing in the ears, abnormal sensation of movement, or loss of the sense of taste. Dry mouth and eyes can also occur.

  • Rash (rash)

    A temporary eruption on the skin.

  • Shingles (shing-ulls)

    A painful, blistering rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

  • Varicella-zoster (vare-ih-sell-ah-zos-ter)

    The virus that causes both chickenpox and Shingles.

  • Virus (vy-rus)

    An organism that causes diseases in the body.

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