Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it. It’s caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox.
This is a condition that is seen in those who have previously had chicken pox. The chicken pox virus remains in the body, dormant; should the virus re-activate then the subsequent condition is termed ‘Shingles’. Why the virus reactivates is not entirely understood, it tends to occur more frequently in those over 50, causing a painful rash on one side of the body.
Long term problems associated with Shingles are infrequent, however they can be serious. Some people experience chronic pain in the area where they had their Shingles rash, Shingles around the eye can cause vision problems and you may also get some skin infections or hearing loss (this is rare).
Get advice from 111 as soon as possible if you think you have it.
People between the ages of 70 and 79 are eligible for the free shingles vaccine.
People aged 80 and over won’t get the shingles vaccine because it’s less effective as people get older.
Please contact the Practice for further information.