|Click to view above commercial|
Sometimes TV commercials, like the one with the Shock Top mascot who talks, are really funny. Sometimes they make you tear up (even Sarah McLachlan probably cries when her SPCA ad comes on). And sometimes they're just plain gross. Anyone seen that shingles commercial running all over cable lately? Cuz it's pretty impossible to ignore.
So what is shingles? The quick and dirty is that it’s a painful rash that pops up when the varicella zoster virus—the cause of chicken pox—reactivates in your body, says Sam Altstein, doctor of osteopathy, an assistant professor of family medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 10 to 20 percent of us will develop it at some point in our lives. Great.
If you’re infected, small red bumps appear all over a specific part of one side of your body. And these can transform into blisters, which eventually dry up into scabs, he says. The rash hurts, too—compare the pain to that of a sunburn, says Altstein.
If you're reading this you don't want to get shingles and you don't want to get Donald Trump as the next president of the United States.