Shingles and Post-herpetic Neuralgia
Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus up to 80 plus years after getting chicken pox as a child. It presents as a sharp pain that is followed by an annoying blistery rash. The blisters are in one or more clusters and have redness around them. If you get this, act quickly and see your GP as soon as possible. If you see your GP soon enough they can give you special antibiotics such as Valtrex that clear the rash more quickly and prevent a painful and very long lasting nerve pain called post-herpetic neuralgia. The pictures show the shingles rash with and without the blisters. Both pictures illustrate how the rash occurs in one or more clusters.
The shingles vaccine, Zostavax®, is recommended for everyone over the age of 60 unless they have a specific contraindication to it. If you are in this age group, we strongly advise you to book now with your GP to discuss having the vaccine. If you are under 70 or over 80, you will need to purchase your own vaccine.
However the vaccine has been provided to all General Practices to give to people aged 70 to 79 years. If you are in this age group, we are carrying stock of the vaccine specifically for you.
Shingles causes a severe and debilitating long lasting nerve pain in over 20% of those people who get shingles in their 70’s and over. It is worth preventing.