Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin supplied by that nerve, which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that results in Chickenpox. If you’ve had chickenpox, there is a 1 in 5 chance that you will have Shingles at some point in your life, as particles of the virus remain dormant in your nervous system, where they routinely do not harm and cause no symptoms.
There is no definite reason as to why the virus becomes active in your nervous system again, but when it does, it results in Singles and symptoms include pain to begin with, followed by a rash along the area of skin supplied by the nerve.
Despite the pain, good news is, it doesn’t last forever and routinely takes 2-4 weeks to settle. To help manage your symptoms whilst the virus pursues it’s natural cause, we recommend loose-fitting cotton clothes, painkillers or anti-inflammatories, or seeing your GP regarding anti-viral medications. We also recommend visiting your local chemist to get some Vitamin B12 supplements, which recent research has shown can be particularly helpful for neural symptoms.