A shingles rash typically appears in a small, localized body area and might develop only on the legs, according to WebMD. The rash usually is limited to one side of the body in a band, strip or patch, but multiple patches sometimes occur.
Shingles occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates, often due to stress, illness, injury or age, explains WebMD. The first symptoms include a headache, sensitivity to light and flu-like symptoms. A tingling sensation, mild pain or numbness then develops on the skin in a localized area of the body. The chest and back are the most common areas for shingles to occur, but the head, stomach, face, arm and leg are all possible sites for the rash.
Some patients develop a stomach ache and diarrhea, or swollen lymph nodes before or as the rash occurs, states WebMD. The rash starts with the eruption of small blisters filled with clear fluid. The rash feels more painful than itchy. Some patients describe it as a pins and needles feeling. After five days the blisters start to crust over and heal. The total duration is two to four weeks. A shingles rash in the eye area requires medical care to avoid possible complications.