Shingles in Birmingham

The Stages Of Shingles And The Treatments Available at Secret Aesthetics

Shingles, or Herpes Zoster, is the infection of a nerve and the surrounding skin. It is common in those over fifty and it can also affect those whose immune systems have become temporarily weakened, usually due to another illness. Knowing the stages of shingles will help you to be able to recognise the early signs, so you can seek effective treatment before the condition fully develops.



If you’ve ever had chickenpox, then it’s possible for you to develop shingles in later years. Once you’ve recovered from chickenpox, the virus then lies dormant in certain nerves in your body. Shingles is caused when the chickenpox virus is reactivated, which can be due to stress, some medications, and certain health conditions.

As most people catch chickenpox as a child, going through the stages of shingles is fairly common later in life, affecting around one in four adults. It can return multiple times as the virus is never completely eradicated, always lying in a dormant status. When shingles occurs more than once, doctors refer to it as recurrent shingles. Recurrent shingles is more common among people whose immune system has been compromised on a long-term basis.


The first distinctly recognisable stage of shingles is the Prodromal Stage in which there is a burning or tingling sensation, or a numb feeling in a particular area on one side of the body or face. At this stage, there are no visible signs on the skin. During this stage of the shingles outbreak, some people can experience extreme sensitivity, and might have skin irritation from clothing.

Next comes the Active Stage when a red rash will start to appear, typically in the same area that the initial signs of tingling or numbness were. The itchy rash caused by shingles is the primary symptom and it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, fever, and upset stomach.

Within days of a rash appearing, it then forms into pus-filled blisters during the Skin Blistering Phase, which is one of the particularly painful stages of shingles. After the blisters crust over, the skin will gradually heal and the scabs will disappear over the next couple of weeks.


Aciclovir (more commonly known as Zovirax) is an antiviral medicine that is recommended for the treatment of shingles. It’s important to take aciclovir as soon as you recognise that you are in the first stages of shingles, and taking it at this point should greatly reduce the chances of the infection fully developing into the next stages.

If you have a tendency for cold sores to appear periodically, then certain injectable treatments, like lip fillers, can trigger or activate the dormant herpes zoster virus, resulting in the appearance of cold sores.

For this reason, we would also recommend taking a course of aciclovir as a preventative measure for five days prior to any lip filler treatments. If you already have any active cold sores on the day of your appointment, then, for your benefit and health, Secret Aesthetics would need to postpone injecting any lip filler until all cold sores have fully cleared up.


Please get in touch with us to schedule your consultation. You can call Secret Aesthetics on 0121 616 6023 to speak to a member of the friendly team. If you’d prefer, email them at and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, it’s quick and easy to book online.

Your Beauty. Our Secret.




Virtual Assessment

Tell us about your concerns, submit a photo and speak directly to our clinical team.