Post Herpetic Neuralgia

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.

Why does it happen?

In post-herpetic neuralgia, the varicella zoster virus (the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles) damages nerves under the skin of the affected area.

Signs and symptoms

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:

  • Feel intensely itchy
  • Be more sensitive to pain than usual (hyperalgesia)
  • Feel painful as a result of something that would not normally hurt (allodynia), such as a light touch or a cool breeze

Treating post-herpetic neuralgia

The pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia can often be reduced with medication, although some simple self-help measures can also be useful.

Self-help

Wear comfortable clothing
Cover sensitive areas
Use cold packs
Medication
Neurolytic Blocks