shingles patient fishing

Shingles was almost beyond description. Totally, completely debilitated."

Larry Bone, former shingles sufferer and GSK spokesperson

The Signs and Symptoms of Shingles

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Early Signs

Early shingles symptoms may include headache, intolerance to light, and malaise. Fever may also occur. The most common symptoms are abnormal skin sensations and pain of varying severity.

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The Rash

The rash forms in a couple of days, progressing to blisters and then crusting over. Usually, the rash lasts seven to 10 days, and completely heals within two to four weeks.

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The Pain

Shingles typically causes pain described as “aching, burning, stabbing or shock-like.”

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A potential consequence of shingles is pain that can be long-term and severe after the shingles rash disappears.

What Shingles Looks Like

Shingles is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body. The rash consists of blisters that typically scab over in seven to 10 days. The rash usually clears up within two to four weeks.

Most commonly, the rash occurs in a single stripe around either the left or right side of the body. In other cases, the rash occurs on one side of the face.

Click through the pictures of shingles to see its progression on different parts of the body.

What Does Shingles Feel Like?

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Unbearable itching is frequently reported.

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Sensitivity to Touch

Even with very light contact, the shingles rash can cause pain.

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Pain can be described as aching, burning, and stabbing.

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Find Out What Causes Shingles

The virus that causes chickenpox stays in your body and can cause shingles later in life.

Learn More