What does shingles look like?
The main symptom of shingles is pain followed by the development of a rash. An outbreak of shingles usually lasts 2-4 weeks. The rash can appear on any part of your body, including your face and eyes, but is most common on your chest, stomach, or back. Some people experience early symptoms before the rash appears. These can include a headache, generally feeling unwell, a burning, tingling, itching or numbness of an area of skin, or a high temperature.
Most people with shingles feel burning, tingling or pain at the affected area a few days before the rash appears. The pain may feel constant, dull or burning, and can be mild or severe. You may also experience sharp stabbing pains. The pain can remain for a few days or weeks after the rash has cleared up.
The rash is initially red and blotchy, but like chickenpox, it can develop into itchy blisters. New blisters can appear for a week, but they should dry out and flatten, and look yellow as they start to scab over. Scabs may leave slight scarring, and usually take 2-4 weeks to heal completely, however the tingling or stabbing pains may remain for long after the outbreak has gone.