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What are the symptoms of shingles?

Page last updated 03 April 2020

The first signs of shingles is usually pain, itching or tingling in the area where the rash will eventually appear- this usually happens only a few days before. Shingles soon develops as a painful rash, usually on one side of the face or body. The shingles rash develops into itchy blisters that will form scab in around 7 to 10 days, resolving within approximately 2 to 4 weeks.


Some people may experience other symptoms, including fever, headache, upset stomach or chills. Complications can occur as people increase in age.

A condition called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a complication of shingles that can develop. People who develop PHN may experience severe, debilitating pain than can remain even after the rash has resolved.

Sources & Citations

1. Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Zoster (herpes zoster). Available at: (accessed 19 March 2020).

2. Australian Government, Department of Health. Shingles (herpes zoster). Available at: (Accessed 19 March 2020).  

6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shingles (herpes zoster) signs and symptoms. Available at: (Accessed 19 March 2020).3

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0180(1)a - Date of preparation March 2020