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Created: 03.08.2023

Updated 02.01.2024

Approved by: General Practitioner, Dr Binita Parmar

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

About a third of all people get shingles and most are over 60 when it happens.

What does Shingles feel like?

You may initially notice headaches and sensitivity to light. This is normally followed by a painful rash, often on one side of the face, neck, chest or arm. It can cause blisters on the skin. Within a week, crusts will form before it begins to heal. For some, the discomfort persists long after other symptoms have subsided.

What is Shingles?

Think of Shingles as a relapse of chickenpox. It is not contagious to those who have had chickenpox in the past. However, it can lead to chickenpox if you have not had this before. For children, this is not a big problem, but chickenpox in adults can be quite serious. Adults who have not had chickenpox should therefore not come into contact with people who have shingles.

What Reduces the Pain?

Paracetamol will alleviate the pain for most people. The outbreak should be kept clean and covered to avoid secondary infections.

For severe outbreaks where the eye is affected, or for people with weakened immune systems, there are antiviral medications.


National Health Service (NHS). (2023). Shingles

General Practitioner

At Dr.Dropin our experienced GPs provide a wide range of primary care services, similar to those provided by the NHS, either in the clinic or through video consultations.


At Dr.Dropin, you will receive specialist care from our expert Consultant Dermatologists provided by skindoc. With extensive experience from both public and private hospitals, we can assess and treat most chronic and acute skin disorders – either in the clinic, through video, or via a photo upload service.