Postherpetic neuralgia: Localized pain in the area of involvement of shingles that persists beyond one month.
The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia. This occurs when the pain associated with shingles persists beyond one month, even after the rash is gone. The pain can be severe and debilitating and occurs primarily in persons over the age of 50. There is some evidence that treating shingles with steroids and antiviral agents can reduce the duration and occurrence of postherpetic neuralgia. However, the decrease is minimal.
The pain of postherpetic neuralgia can be reduced by a number of medications. Tricyclic antidepressant medications (amitriptyline /Elavil and others), as well as anti-seizure medications (gabapentin /Neurontin, carbamazepine /Tegretol), have been used to relieve the pain associated with herpetic neuralgia. Finally, capsaicin cream, a derivative of hot chili peppers, can be used topically on the area after all the blisters have healed, to reduce the pain. Acupuncture and electric nerve stimulation through the skin can be helpful for some patients. These options are best discussed with your healthcare practitioner.
Postherpetic neuralgia â€” Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this painful complication of shingles.
(HZ) is a viral infection that usually presents as a childhood infection of varicella (ie, chicken pox).
Neuralgia is severe pain along the course of a nerve. The pain occurs because of a change in neurological structure or function due to irritation or damage of a nerve ...
Postherpetic neuralgia is pain in the area where a shingles infection once occurred. The pain may last for months or years. Causes Postherpetic neuralgia ...
Learn about postherpetic neuralgia, which often occurs after a case of shingles goes away.