What is it?

Postherpetic neuralgia is a common complication of shingles. In this condition, people develop a burning pain sensation that lasts after the initial infection and its symptoms disappear. Herpes zoster is the virus that causes shingles disease. Postherpetic neuralgia can appear at any age but is more common in older people. Shingles develop in people who have had chickenpox. The herpes virus remains latent in the body and once the immune system is suppressed, the virus reactivates. Shingles vaccination is recommended for older people.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Postherpetic neuralgia

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of post herpetic neuralgia include severe pain, sensitivity to light touch, itching and numbness of the area of the skin where the shingles outbreak first occurred. It typically appears as a band around the trunk, on one side of the body.


Diagnosis is based on findings from physical examination with a recent shingles diagnosis.


Treatment usually focuses on pain relievers, such as lidocaine skin patches, capsaicin skin patches, anticonvulsants like gabapentin and pregabalin, antidepressants such as duloxetine and venlafaxine , steroids injections, and opioid painkiller, which require monitoring.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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