I had the shingles at 23yrs old. I got a mild case that went across my right shoulderblade and had a few spots under my arms. Two weeks before I had it, I felt like I had appendicitis, and went to the dr, and all my symptoms matched appy, but then my blood test came out fine. My rash lasted about 3 weeks and hurt like crazy, felt like someone was poking it with needles. I think it was related to stress and bad nutrition. I would leave it uncovered, I think it would heal faster.