Shingles & the shingles vaccine


Shingles is an acute, unilateral, self limiting painful blistering rash caused by reactivation of the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) – the chicken pox virus

Prodromal symptoms are:

  • pruritis
  • dysaethesia
  • pain along affected dermatome

Zoster Sine Herpete – this is rare, it’s where the nerve pain but no rash.

The classic rash is the grouped vesicles on a red base in a unilateral dermatomal distribution – these begin as red macules and papules and over 7-10days, become vesicles then form pustules and crust. It takes about 4 weeks for complete healing.

You can’t catch shingles from someone with chickenpox or shingles, but you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles if you haven’t had it before.