Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles. The condition affects nerve fibers and skin, causing burning pain that lasts long after the rash and blisters of shingles disappear. The postherpetic pain can last for months to years after the shingles outbreak.
Postherpetic Pain (Shingles) Risk Factors
Most people in the United States get chickenpox as children. Once the chickenpox infection has cleared, the shingle virus lies dormant inside dorsal nerve roots. Years later, if your immune system is stressed or weakened, the virus can re-emerge. Instead of causing chickenpox to reoccur, it causes shingles, which produces a painful, blistering rash.
If shingles pain remains after the blisters have dried up and gone away, you have postherpetic neuralgia. The postherpetic pain is due to residual stimulation to the nerves, which may lead to the need for postherpetic pain treatment from a shingles specialist.
Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of getting postherpetic pain from shingles. The older you are, the more likely you are to develop symptoms for postherpetic neuralgia.
Postherpetic Pain (Shingles) Testing
To determine if you have shingles, the pain doctor or specialist will take a tissue scraping or culture of the blisters.
Postherpetic Pain (Shingles Pain) Management Treatment Options
There are a number of postherpetic pain treatment options that help with shingles pain management, which include: