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Can You Get Shingles from Stress?

Can You Get Shingles from Stress? Related Articles

Ask a Doctor

I’ve just been diagnosed with shingles. I’ve been really stressed out at work. Could that be the cause?

Doctor’s Response

The ultimate cause of shingles is a reactivation of the dormant herpes zoster (chickenpox) virus, but stress is risk factors for an outbreak.

Herpes zoster virus causes shingles. No one knows for sure what causes the chickenpox virus to become reactivated to cause shingles. Some investigators suggest that the following conditions may participate in virus reactivation, since they have been associated with a higher incidence of shingles. This is a list of only some of the major conditions that may trigger reactivation but have as yet not been proven to do so:

For more information, read our full medical article on shingles.

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Reviewed on 5/3/2018
References
Janniger, C. "Herpes Zoster Treatment & Management." Medscape. May 4, 2017. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1132465-treatment>

Moon, James E. "Herpes Zoster." Medscape.com. May 11, 2011. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/218683-overview>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Shingles (Herpes Zoster)." May 1, 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/>.
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