A bright red rash of shingles is probably the best-known marker of shingles--other than the shooting pain it can make you feel. A shingles rash isn't forever, and taking good care of your skin while the rash is present can make you feel better and possibly reduce the risk of scarring.
Shingles is a viral infection that happens when the chicken pox virus, which can lie dormant in the body for years, reactivates.
The early symptoms of shingles include headaches, light sensitivity and flu-like aches. You may also feel itching, tingling, burning or shooting pain in an area of the body.
After a few days of the above symptoms, a red rash appears where there was itching or tingling, usually on one side of the body. Blisters can form and crust over, although not everyone with shingles develops such a severe rash.
A shingles rash can last anywhere from 1 to 14 days, although the blisters can take longer to heal.
Shingles can't be cured, but antiviral medications and steroids can shorten its duration. Pain relievers, anti-itch creams, compresses and cool baths can ease rash itching and pain.