Shingles tends to cause more pain and less itching than chickenpox. Common signs (what you see) and symptoms (what you feel) are:
- The warning: An area of skin may burn, itch, tingle, or feel very sensitive. This usually occurs in a small area on 1 side of the body. These symptoms can come and go or be constant. Most people experience this for 1 to 3 days. It can last longer.
- Rash: A rash then appears in the same area.
- Blisters: The rash soon turns into groups of clear blisters. The blisters turn yellow or bloody before they crust over (scab) and heal. The blisters tend to last 2 to 3 weeks.
- Pain: It is uncommon to have blisters without pain. Often the pain is bad enough for a doctor to prescribe painkillers. Once the blisters heal, the pain tends to lessen. The pain can last for months after the blisters clear.
- Flu-like symptoms: The person may get a fever or headache with the rash.
Shingles. The rash can be very painful and widespread.
Shingles. This patch of skin was very painful before the shingles appeared.
Learn more about shingles
Images used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.