©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Viral Skin Diseases

Picture of Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection on Chest Wall

Picture of Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection on Chest Wall

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) remains dormant in the nervous system after a bout of chickenpox. Depending on the location of the virus, a reactivation causes an outbreak of shingles along the affected nerves. The lesions in this illustration are localized to the T8 to T10 dermatomes, the areas of the skin supplied by three thoracic spinal nerves in the middle of the back. The reactivated herpes virus causes an outbreak of shingles on a specific area on the trunk, often appearing band-like or wrapping around the body.

Image Source: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology Klaus Wolff, Richard Allen Johnson, Dick Suurmond Copyright 2005, 2001, 1997, 1993 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights reserved.

Text Reference: "Varicella." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.