NHS Service

How to protect yourself from Shingles?

How to protect yourself from Shingles?

Shingles is an infection which causes a painful rash and is also called Herpes Zoster.  It infects nerves and the skin around them and is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.  There is a Shingles vaccine to protect against the disease but this is only available on the NHS for people in their 70s.  If you want to have the Shingles shot and are not eligible under current NHS guidance then contact our clinic in Sydenham for the shingles vaccination and we also offer the shingles vaccination in Streatham.

What are the symptoms of Shingles?

Before the distinctive red rash appears, Shingles will make you feel generally unwell with a headache and a painful or tingling feeling in certain areas of your skin.  Within a few days, a rash will appear and this can be anywhere on your body but is commonly on the chest and tummy.  The rash will be red and blotchy and is usually confined to one side of the body only.  The rash will develop into itchy blisters which will ooze fluid before finally drying up.  There is no treatment for Shingles other than symptomatic relief which is why it can be important to have the Shingrix vaccine.

Catching shingles and passing it on

You are only infectious to other people whilst the blisters are oozing fluid.  The virus can be passed onto someone who has not had chickenpox before or been vaccinated against chickenpox and they could go on to develop the illness.  After chickenpox, the virus remains in the body and can lead to Shingles later in life or when the immune system is lowered.

Is the Shingles vaccine available privately in the UK?

The vaccine to prevent Shingles is called Shingrix and is only available on the NHS to older people or those who may be classified as specifically vulnerable.  Contact Touchwood Pharmacy if you want to have the Shingles shot, we offer the Shingles vaccination at our clinic in Sydenham and you can also have the Shingles vaccination in Streatham.  Our website has more information  https://www.touchwoodpharmacy.com/