People who have had chickenpox are at risk for developing herpes zoster; your risk of shingles is higher if you had chickenpox before you were one year old. Herpes zoster generally affects people older than 60 years of age. The older you are, the higher your risk.
If your immune system is weakened by disease, such as from HIV, or by medications that suppress the immune system, such as those used in cancer treatment or organ transplantation, you are also more likely to develop shingles. Stress is also believed to play a potential role in triggering an outbreak of herpes zoster.
Can herpes zoster cause other kinds of herpes?
Although they have similar names, herpes zoster is not related to herpes simplex. Herpes simplex is caused by a different virus, and its primary symptoms are watery blisters around the mouth (cold sores), lips or genitals. Herpes zoster does not cause herpes simplex. Herpes simplex can lead to its own eye problem, herpes keratitis.
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