Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It often appears as a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.
It’s caused by the varicella-zoster virus (same virus as chickenpox). After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus becomes inactive but if it reactivates you suffer from shingles.
The disease can be very painful, early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications.
- A rash that is painful, has a burning, numbness or tingling sensation
- A rash that sensitive to touch
- Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
Some people may also experience:
- Raised temperature/ Fever
- Sensitivity to bright light
Pain is normally the first symptom and patients feel it in the heart, lungs or kidneys.
A rash can also occur around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.
- The pain and rash are near your eyes- left untreated, this can lead to permanent eye damage.
- You’re 60 or older, because of increased risk of complications.
- If you’re immune compromised
- The rash is more widespread and painful.
Two vaccines may help prevent shingles — the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine and the shingles (varicella-zoster) vaccine.
The vaccine is recommended for adults who’ve never had chickenpox.
Common side effects of the vaccine are:
- Swelling and itching at the injection site,
The vaccine doesn’t guarantee you won’t get shingles but will reduce the course and severity of the disease.
Dr. Arnous is an experienced GP having completed his training scheme in Spain in 2005. He has been working in Dublin since 2014. Dr. Arnous speaks many languages fluently including English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French and Italian. Dr. Arnous holds post-graduate degrees in laboratory management, clinical analysis, Anti-Ageing, and Aesthetic Medicine. His special interest areas are Aesthetic Medicine, Dermatology, Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology, and ENT.