How long does shingles usually last?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A case of shingles can last for up to a few weeks or more. The early symptoms include pain, itching, tingling, or a burning sensation at one location on the body, such as one side of the waist or face. A few days after these symptoms begin, the skin on the afflicted body part develops fluid-filled blisters. These blisters usually go away, along with the other symptoms, within 14 days or so. However, some shingles sufferers have lingering pain and itching that lasts for many weeks or months after the skin rash has disappeared. 

Shingles usually lasts for a few weeks. Usually, the first symptom is pain or numbness. A few days later, blisters appear. The blisters last for several days and then usually scab over. Most of the time, blisters and other symptoms are gone after a couple weeks, but pain may last longer in some cases. Anti-viral medications may be used to help speed up recovery.

Continue Learning about Shingles

Shingles

Shingles

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Unlike chickenpox, shingles is not contagious, but lies dormant in your body after you have chickenpox. Symptoms of shingles include an itchy, painful ...

rash that forms blisters on one side of the body. They can also, in rarer cases, cause severe complications, like changes in vision and hearing, or pain lasting up to several years after the shingles rash is gone. Most people that have shingles have compromised immunity, or are over the age of 50, although 20% of the population will develop shingles at some point in their lives. Certain antiviral medications can slow down the virus and offer pain relief, but no cure exists for the virus.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.