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Example shingles photos

What are the symptoms?

The severity of the symptoms of shingles can
range from mild to severe and can be very
unpleasant for some.

Shingles is characterised by a painful rash, usually affecting
one side of the body, most often on the upper body, but
shingles can also develop on the head and neck, or the eye.

Shingles usually starts with a headache, fever, and tiredness,
and you are likely to feel unwell. It’s very common to feel
a tingling or burning pain in the area of the skin where the
rash later appears. In a small proportion of people this pain
may become quite severe.

Within a few days or weeks, a rash will develop over the area
of pain, which will turn into fluid-filled blisters. A few days after
appearing, the blisters dry out and scabs form where the
blisters have been. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for the rash to
heal completely.

Most people recover but some people may experience
long-term nerve pain that can remain for many months, or
for a few people even years. This is known as post-herpetic
neuralgia (PHN). Like shingles itself, the risk of nerve damage
and developing long-lasting nerve pain increases as you
get older.