Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which is the same virus that causes chicken pox. It the infection of a nerve and the skin around it.
If you suffered with chicken pox as a child, then the virus can lie dormant in the body and in some unknown cases can develop into shingles later in life. It is a common infection and one in four people will develop shingles during their lifetime.
We have taken some time out of Dr Parry’s busy day to talk about singles and get some answers on the things you should be aware of!
Question: Dr Parry, what are the most common symptoms of shingles?
Dr Parry: Painful skin and rash
Question: How long does it normally take to recover from shingles?
Dr Parry: Most cases take two to four weeks to recover from shingles
Question: What is the name of the antiviral medication?
Dr Parry: Aciclovir, for which a prescription is required. However, not everyone will require this treatment
Question: What is the Zostavax vaccine?
Dr Parry: The Zostavax vaccine is a live vaccine, so if you are immunosuppressed you are unable to have this vaccine. It is given into the muscle in the arm. For further information about the vaccine please speak to our practice nurse.
Question: Where on the body does shingles normally appear?
Dr Parry: It is common for shingles to appear as a single patch on one side of the body Some may find it on the chest, shoulder or side of the neck.
Question: How quickly do the blisters appear?
Dr Parry: Three to five days.
Click here to learn more about Shingles.