Shingles is characterized by a painful rash of blisters that wraps around one side of the upper body, and it’s caused by the same virus that gives you chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox has the shingles virus lying dormant in their body, and it can be reactivated at any time. A person who comes down with shingles will typically first notice pain – sometimes severe pain – across a portion of their body, followed days later by the red, blistery rash that becomes crusted over when the blisters are broken. Many shingles sufferers also experience such symptoms as light sensitivity, fatigue, fever and a headache. Your physician can prescribe antiviral medication to help your shingles symptoms subside more quickly, along with numbing ointments and other pain relievers.