Shingles is caused by the varicella virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox. It stays dormant in the body after the chicken pox resolves and for whatever reason may in later life cause inflammation along a nerve and a blistered rash known as shingles. The rash typically involves only one side of the body, and will resolve in 7 to 10 days, when it will scab over and then the scabs will fall off.
However, a significant number of people will have pain in the affected area that persists. This is called post herpetic neuralgia and can be very uncomfortable. Shingles can also affect the eye and cause major problems there as well.
ONE IN THREE PEOPLE IN THE US WILL DEVELOP SHINGLES IN THEIR LIFETIME. It is more common as you get older.
The prior vaccine used was called Zostavax. It is being replaced in large part by Shingrix, which is more effective.
For details, see the Centers for Disease Control Website or the next pages.