This is a picture of herpes zoster (shingles) on the neck and cheek. Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Outbreaks of shingles often follow the distribution of nerves in the skin. This distribution pattern is called a dermatome (see the "dermatomes" picture).
Review Date 12/1/2018
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.