It is common to have shingles symptoms without a rash for a few days. In some people, the rash takes longer than 5 days to appear. Although it is less common, some people develop zoster sine herpete, in which they have painful skin symptoms but no rash covering the affected skin area.
Anyone at risk of shingles and experiencing some of the symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. Although there is no cure for shingles, early treatment can reduce the severity of the outbreak.
In people with internal shingles, the condition affects systemic areas of the body, aside from the skin, such as internal organs. Internal shingles is more common in people who are older or very unwell, and it comes with an increase in the risk of long-term complications, such as chronic pain.
The pain may be more intense with internal shingles, and some people develop symptoms in multiple locations on the body.
A person should not assume that they do not have shingles just because they do not have a rash.
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