Shingles - Symptoms

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What were the symptoms of your shingles?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black square:

What are shingles symptoms and signs?

Shingles usually starts with burning, tingling, itching, or stinging in the region where the rash will ultimately develop. Sometimes, this pain can be severe and individuals may complain of extremely sensitive skin. This discomfort typically occurs a few days before the rash develops. In rare instances, the characteristic shingles rash will not appear (a condition called zoster sine herpete).

Often, individuals may also experience other associated symptoms such as

  • headache,
  • fever and chills,
  • malaise,
  • nausea,
  • body aches,
  • swollen lymph glands.

A few days after the skin discomfort begins (or rarely, several weeks afterward), the characteristic rash of shingles will appear. It typically begins as clusters of small red patches that eventually develop into small blisters. These fluid-filled blisters eventually break open, and the small sores begin to slowly dry and crust over. The crusts usually fall off after several weeks, and the shingles rash typically clears up after approximately four weeks. Though uncommon, in cases of a severe rash, skin discoloration or scarring of the skin is possible.

The location of the shingles rash can vary. Though shingles can appear almost anywhere on the body, it most commonly affects the torso and the face (including the eyes, ears, and mouth). It is often present in the area of the ribcage or the waist. This characteristic rash is in a stripe or band-like pattern that affects only one side of the body (the right or the left), and it usually does not cross over the midline. In some cases, the rash can affect adjacent dermatomes, and rarely it can affect three or more dermatomes (a condition termed disseminated zoster). Disseminated zoster generally occurs only in individuals with a compromised immune system.

Return to Shingles

See what others are saying

Comment from: Chuck Powley, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

I am 69 years old. It took me a few days to get a doctor's appointment. He treated the pain, which had all the classic symptoms of shingles, with prednisone. This did not allow me to get any sleep, as the pain was constant. I went to the emergency where they diagnosed shingles. They gave me more prednisone, and Tylenol 3. I went back to my doctor, who prescribed Lyrica. The lack of sleep and pain problems are still with me.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Nexus4, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 17

I only have 1 blister in the middle of my abdomen above the belly button with a larger patch of red skin. Another reddish patch a few inches lower but no blisters. It"s not the pain of shingles, but the overall lethargy even after 2 weeks. I have been groggy for almost a week, followed by general tiredness. In fact it"s not painful until after the blister broke and only felt like a cigarette burn blister. I have never felt so lethargic in my entire life, worse than my perforated appendix when I spent 2 weeks in hospital.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!