Herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles, occurs when the herpes virus present in the body becomes active and replicates. This virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox. People who have had chickenpox and experience a new rash may ask, “What do shingles look like?”

After a person gets chickenpox, the virus usually lies dormant in the body for decades. Some people may never have another outbreak due to the virus. However, some people develop a reddish rash on the skin near nerve endings.

Small, reddish blisters develop in a cluster on the affected skin. New blisters may continue to form over the five days following the first blisters. The rash from shingles typically only affects one side of the face or trunk.

Shingles photos usually show concentrated clusters or bands of small blisters on inflamed skin. The skin redness is localized to the area of the rash. Unlike the chickenpox that may cover all areas of the body, the skin outside of the area of the shingles rash is not usually affected by shingles.

The shingles rashes on someone with a dark complexion may not have noticeable redness that is characteristic of shingles. For some people, the blisters from shingles appear yellow, brown, or clear instead of red.

The shingles rash causes itchiness, pain, tingling, and burning. Some people experience the pain, tingling, itchiness, and burning before the blisters appear. The shingles blisters pop and ooze before they form dark red or brown scabs and heal.

Shingles last for up to five weeks from the time the first symptoms emerge until all the blisters are healed. Once the blisters have all formed scabs, the shingles is no longer contagious. A person who has shingles can give the chickenpox to someone who has not had the chickenpox.

Some shingles photos show shingles blisters around the eyes. The small, shingles blisters may appear smaller and less red than some shingles images of other affected areas. Shingles on the areas around the eyes can be worrisome since the shingles may affect the eye and even lead to blindness.

The shingles rash is most common in people over the age of sixty. Medical treatment or illnesses that weaken the immune system make the person more susceptible to a shingles outbreak. Some people say stress can also trigger an outbreak.

If a person develops a rash that looks like shingles, a doctor should be consulted. For most people, shingles resolves on its own without any complications. An anti-itch lotion and cold compresses may be used at the site of the shingles rash to help the person feel more comfortable.

A complication of shingles is infection of the blistered area. Shingles pictures showing infection feature inflammation, pus-like discharge, swelling, or large lesions. Anyone suspecting that the shingles rash may have become infected should seek immediate medical attention.