Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the chickenpox virus. Once you contract chickenpox, the virus “sleeps” in your nerve roots. In some people, it stays dormant forever; in others, the virus “wakes up” when disease, stress or aging weakens the immune system, which is why shingles (closely associated with chickenpox) is most common in older adults and in people who have compromised immune systems. Shingles symptoms happen in stages: At first, you may have a headache, light sensitivity and flu symptoms. Next, you may feel itching, tingling or pain in an area before a rash appears in a band or strip on one side of the face or body. The rash later turns into clusters of blisters that fill with fluid and crust over, taking up to four weeks to heal. About one out of every three people will develop shingles in their lifetime—so boost your immune system with natural remedies, including essential oils.