Postherpetic Neuralgia

Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication that may arise from the herpes zoster (chickenpox) virus. Postherpetic neuralgia causes a burning pain which lasts beyond the rash and causes blisters that usually appear during shingles.This pain is a result of damage to the nerve fibers stopping the appropriate messages traveling from the skin to the brain. The messages become confused, resulting in chronic pain that can last for an extended period of time. Symptoms may include burning,  stabbing, sharp pain in the affected area, sensitivity to touch as well as itching, numbness, and tingling. The likelihood of developing postherpetic neuralgia increases with the age of the patient. It is most prevalent in people over the age of 60. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but the symptoms can be relieved with treatment, and in most cases, postherpetic neuralgia does improve with time.

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