Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it. Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox, it s estimated that 1 in 4 of us will have an episode at least once in our lifetime.
Shingles is caused by the Varicella-zoster virus which also causes chickenpox. Following a dose of chickenpox (usually in childhood) this virus remains dormant within the nevous system until it is re-activated in later life.
This painful rash which begins as a burning sensation in the skin, followed by a rash of fluid filled blisters which may burst and turn into sores is mostly prevalent in the over 50 s and whilst it s not really known what re-activates it, reduced immunity, age and physical and emotional stress are thought to contribute.
The Shingles vaccine (Zostavax) increases protection against the infection to 85% and vastly alleviates the symptoms in those unfortunate enough still to develop the virus.
Whilst the NHS offers an immunisation programme to those aged over 70, it s widely considered prudent for anyone over 50 to be immunised in order to avoid this very painful virus. Here at Southdowns we have been successfully immunising against Shingles since 2008. Call on 033 022 02000 to arrange an appointment and get protected. You can choose to be seen at either of our Hampshire or West Sussex clinics.