Think you have shingles?

Know the early signs of Shingles.

The rash, the most common sign of Shingles, emerges in a band along one side of the body. Some people may first experience a burning, tingling, or itching in a specific area on one side of the body before the rash appears. They will usually experience these symptoms in one localized area of the body, where the nerves connect with the skin.

Although there's no cure, if you think you may have Shingles, it's important to see your health care professional right away. He or she may be able to prescribe antivirals that may help reduce the severity of your case if it's caught early enough. To work best, an antiviral should be administered within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms.

The appearance of the Shingles rash.

The most common sign of Shingles is a rash that emerges in a band along one side of the body. This band, or dermatome, is the area where one of the nerves from your spinal cord connects with the skin. Shingles most commonly appears across one side of the torso, from the center of the back to the center of the chest or stomach. Shingles may also appear on the side of the face and forehead, although the rash can surface on any part of the body. The severity of the rash, and the pain that comes with it, may be different for each individual. However, Shingles may bring intense pain, even in moderate cases of the rash.

There is no cure for Shingles, but the pain can be treated.

Shingles may bring deep, intense, and stabbing pain. While there are some things you can do to feel more comfortable, and some treatments that can help symptoms and shorten the duration of the rash, it's not likely that anything will completely relieve the pain and/or itch of Shingles. The Shingles rash usually lasts up to 30 days and people who get it will experience some level of discomfort until the rash goes away.

Also in this section:

Symptom Checker

This tool may help you identify the symptoms that accompany Shingles, from beginning to end.