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About this service

More commonly known as shingles, herpes zoster is an infection triggering a painful rash across the body. In the past, medical advice has been to call 111 or book an urgent appointment with your GP, however with the new Pharmacy First scheme this is no longer necessary.  


What is shingles? 

Shingles is a red rash that typically appears on one side of the body. As this infection worsens, it is important to recognise what each stage of shingles looks like: 

  • The first stage of shingles is a tingling or painful sensation to the skin. Yet, sometimes this can start out as a headache or feeling unwell.  
  • In just a few days, a rash will appear on one side of the body and will often show up in a form of clusters. This is commonly found around the chest, tummy, eye, face, and genitals.  
  • Then, the rash will then turn into itchy blisters, full of liquid and ready to dry out and scab. This will happen just a few days after.  


Who can get shingles?  

Those at risk of developing shingles are only those who have previously experienced chickenpox. The reason for this is because shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus. 

Whilst this infection is not contagious, it is crucial to avoid those who have previously not had, been exposed to, or received the chickenpox vaccine. Additionally, it is best to avoid: 

  • Babies less than one years old 
  • Anyone who is pregnant and has not yet had chickenpox 
  • People with weak immune systems  


Why do I need the shingles vaccine? 

The shingles vaccine is there to prevent the risk of you attracting this unwelcome infection.  

Through the NHS, there is a list of age groups who are eligible to access the shingles vaccine free of charge. These age groups are 

  • 65-year-olds who have reached 65 on or after the 1st of September 2023 
  • 70-79-year-olds who have not yet been vaccinated  
  • 50-year-olds and over who have a severe weak immune system  

The reason as to why this vaccine is needed, is to not only avoid shingles itself, but because of the numerous complications it can cause. From muscle weakness to the potential loss of sight, visiting your pharmacy and seeking treatment as soon as you start to feel/experience symptoms, can reduce the chances of these extra problems arising.  


When does shingles go away? 

It can take up to four weeks for a shingles rash to disappear. However, in some cases even after the rash has gone away, the skin can still feel painful for a few weeks. 

Because of this, we advise you seek immediate medical attention to prevent long-term complications and ensure a quick recovery.  


How can Pharmacy First help?  

Before Pharmacy First, those dealing with shingles would have needed to book an emergency GP appointment or call 111. Whereas now, pharmacists can provide the same service as a GP, due to the Pharmacy First service. 

Those who are 18 years and older can turn up to their nearest pharmacy and speak to a pharmacist for immediate medical advice and treatment. So, there is no need to panic! 

If you are experiencing shingles, our team of professionals, at Allied Pharmacies, are ready to provide you with the help you need when you need it. 


Where do I go for help? 

Wherever you are, whether it be at home or the park, you can easily find your nearest Allied Pharmacy on our website by typing in your postcode. Once you have entered in your location, our map will zoom in and show our nearest pharmacy to you. There is no need to worry about booking an appointment or giving us a heads up before your visit, as with Pharmacy First, our pharmacists will be ready to assist you. 

Locations offering this service

Acklam Road Pharmacy

89 Acklam Road, Middlesborough,

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Allied Pharmacy - Gloucester

28 Southgate Street, Gloucester,

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Allied Pharmacy - Green Lane

17 Green Lane, Tuebrook, Liverpool,
L13 7DT

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Call us on 01744 813306

Allied Pharmacies, Unit 18, Bold Industrial Park Neills Road, St Helens Merseyside, WA9 4TU