Shingles Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Shingles article.

Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Acyclovir: (Brand name: Zovirax) One of a group of antiviral drugs that acts against the...

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Amitriptyline: An antidepressant medication. In some patients with depression, abnormal l...

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Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introdu...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Antiviral: An agent that kills a virus or that suppresses its ability to replicate and, he...

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Attenuated: Weakened, diluted, thinned, reduced, weakened, diminished.

Attenuated virus: A weakened, less vigorous virus. An attenuated virus may be used to make...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blister: A collection of fluid underneath the top layer of skin (epidermis). There are man...

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Bumps: The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured b...

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Calamine: An astringent made from zinc carbonate or zinc oxide, customarily used in lotion...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US agency charged with tracking a...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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Chicken pox: See: Chickenpox.

Chickenpox: A highly infectious viral disease also known medically as varicella -- in many...

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Chills: feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure t...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Deoxyribonucleic acid: DNA. One of two types of molecules that encode genetic information...

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Dermatology: 1. The branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and...

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Dermatome: (1) A localized area of skin that is has its sensation via a single nerve from ...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid. One of two types of molecules that encode genetic information...

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Elavil: See: Amitriptyline.

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Endep: See: Amitriptyline.

Erythema: Redness of the skin that results from capillary congestion. Erythema can occur w...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.

Genital herpes: An infection by human herpes virus that is transmitted through intimate co...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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Herpes zoster: Also called shingles, zona, and zoster. The culprit is the varicella-zoster...

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HHV-3: Human herpesvirus 3.

HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Hives: A raised, itchy area of skin that may be a sign of an allergic reaction. It can be ...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Immunity: The condition of being immune. Immunity can be innate'for example, humans are in...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Indication: 1. In medicine, a condition which makes a particular treatment or proce...

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Infant: A young baby, from birth to 12 months of age.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to canc...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Mite: A tiny eight-legged creature belonging to the Order Acarina related to spiders and t...

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Morphine: A powerful narcotic agent that has strong analgesic (pain relief) action and oth...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Neuralgia: Pain along the course of a nerve.

Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Oxycodone: Oxycodone is the active ingredient in OxyContin. Oxycodone is an opioid, a clos...

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OxyContin: A prescription painkiller that has become a popular and dangerous recreational ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Postherpetic neuralgia: The most common complication of shingles, persistence of the pain ...

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Pox virus: See: Orthopox.

Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Ramsay Hunt syndrome: A herpes virus infection of the geniculate nerve ganglion that cause...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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Recur: To occur again; to return. For example, a symptom, sign, or disease can recur.

Resident: In medicine, a physician who has finished medical school and is receiving traini...

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Restless leg syndrome: An uncomfortable (creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling, twitching,...

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Scabies: Infestation of the skin by the human itch mite, Sarcaptes scabies. The initial ...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Sensory: Relating to sensation, to the perception of a stimulus, to the voyage made by inc...

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Sexually transmitted disease: Any disease transmitted by sexual contact; caused by microo...

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Shingles: An acute infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus as causes ...

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Skin biopsy: Removal of a piece of skin for the purpose of diagnostic examination. Skin bi...

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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied ...

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Transplant: The grafting of a tissue from one place to another, just as in botany a bu...

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Tzanck smear: See Tzanck test.

Vaccination: Injection of a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Zovirax: Brand name of Acyclovir.

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Medical Dictionary