Signs & symptoms of shingles without rash

Written by anna aronson | 13/05/2017

Shingles is an illness caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. People who have had chickenpox carry the varicella-zoster virus in their nervous systems, and it can become reactivated later in life in the form of shingles. Most people recover from shingles without developing complications, but it often results in a painful rash. Some people can develop a shingles infection and develop little or no rash. A vaccine is available to prevent the condition.

Burning and Tingling

People with shingles often will experience burning, tingling and numbness of the skin. This can develop several weeks before a rash appears and is often the first sign of a shingles infection. However, in some cases no rash will develop.


As with many other viral infections, people who develop shingles may experience a fever as a sign of the condition. Not everyone with shingles will have a fever, however. People who have fever often also experience chills.

Lymph Nodes

The lymph nodes often can become swollen in people who have shingles. Lymph node swelling is common when people develop infections because it is a sign the immune system is working to fight off the virus.

Flu-like Symptoms

In some cases, people with shingles may also experience many flu-like symptoms. Common symptoms include achiness, sore throat, stuffy nose, headaches and a general feeling of being unwell. Most people who develop flu-like symptoms with shingles will experience them in addition to the painful rash, but some may never develop the rash.

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