Post-herpetic neuralgia is a persistent nerve pain that occurs at the site of a previous attack of shingles.
It’s estimated that up to one in every five people with shingles will go on to develop post-herpetic neuralgia, and older people are particularly at risk.
In post-herpetic neuralgia, the varicella zoster virus (the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles) damages nerves under the skin of the affected area.
The main symptom of post-herpetic neuralgia is continuous nerve pain in an area previously affected by shingles. The pain has been described as burning, stabbing, shooting, aching or throbbing.
The affected area may also:
The pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia can often be reduced with medication, although some simple self-help measures can also be useful.
Wear comfortable clothing
Cover sensitive areas
Use cold packs