Shingles is an infection caused by the same virus as chickenpox. Its main symptom is a painful rash. If you think you have shingles it’s important to seek help.

Sometimes symptoms will appear before the rash like a temperature, headache and a tingling, numb or painful feeling in an area of skin.

If you think you might have shingles, speak to one of our friendly pharmacists over secure video call as soon as you can. Remember, it’s completely free to do so.

female pharmacist smiling in chemist

What are the symptoms of shingles?

Early symptoms of shingles include:

  • A painful, numb or tingling area of skin
  • A headache
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • A high temperature

A rash doesn’t usually appear until a few days later. Symptoms of a shingles rash include:

  • Painful and tender blotches on the skin which develop into itchy blisters
  • Blotches on just one side of the body
  • Blotches that usually appear on chest or tummy but can also be found on the face, eyes, and genitals
  • Blotches can appear in a cluster
  • The rash tends to be red on lighter skin, but may not be as visible on darker skin.

How do I treat shingles?

Treatment at home

  • Take painkillers like paracetamol
  • Wear loose fitting, soft clothing
  • Keep your rash clean and dry to avoid infection
  • Try using a cool compress on your rash a few times a day to calm the itching or pain
  • Make sure you don’t share towels or bedding with anyone as this can spread the virus
  • Make sure you contact one of our pharmacists who can advise you on what to do next
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How our pharmacists can help

  • Advise on what medication you can take to ease your symptoms
  • Discuss whether antiviral medication might be helpful
  • See whether you’re eligible for the shingles vaccination
  • Prescribe any specific medication and arrange for it to be sent straight to your door.

Remember, it can take four weeks for a shingles rash to get better, and your skin may be painful even when the rash is gone

If you’re at all worried you might have shingles, book a free secure video consultation with one of our friendly pharmacists. We can work around your schedule. And we’ll issue and deliver any prescriptions straight to your door within 24 hours (nationwide), or same day (London).

Book a free consultation