DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm a healthy 55-year-old man. Should I get the shingles vaccine? And while you're at it, what exactly is shingles?
DEAR READER: Shingles is a condition that results in a rash and pain. It is caused by the same virus (called VZV) that causes chickenpox. After a case of chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant inside your nerves for decades. By "dormant," I mean that it is not multiplying -- it just lies there inside the nerve cells.