Shingles is a contagious skin rash that is caused by the virus that causes chickenpox. Only people who have previously had the chickenpox can develop shingles. Although a person recovers from the chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. The virus can resurface decades later, causing shingles. A person who has never been exposed to the virus can contract chickenpox if he comes in contact with the rash of someone who has shingles.
Avoid close contact with people who are susceptible to shingles and chickenpox. This includes people who have a compromised immune system, children, babies, and pregnant women. People who have never had the chickenpox are also at risk.
Cover your rash with a clean absorbent cloth. This will help keep it from spreading.
Keep your hands off of the rash. Resist the temptation to scratch it. Wash your hands frequently to prevent transporting the virus with your fingers.
Wash and dry your rash and sores regularly. This will help speed up the healing process and it will shorten the period in which you are contagious.