Once active shingles set in, the rash usually heals within two to four weeks, according to WebMD. The pain that is associated with shingles often lasts for 30 days, though there have been reports of it lasting for months or years.
Shingles occur in three different stages, though most people only realize shingles has appeared after the first stage is over, states WebMD. In the first stage, most people experience symptoms similar to those associated with the flu. Pain, tenderness or swelling may also occur in the area where the rash appears as well as in the lymph nodes.
The second phase of shingles is the rash stage, explains WebMD. Usually, a band appears first, though only on one side of the body. Blisters soon form and stay for three to four days. Most of the time, they are clear but may become cloudy in some instances. Individuals may also experience a rash on the face, and if it appears near the eye, emergency treatment may be necessary. The blisters typically clear up in five days and are followed by the final stage, the chronic pain stage. Aching and burning where the rash was is common, and the area may be sensitive to the touch.