Shingles Post-Herpetic Neuralgia
Shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can have an outbreak of shingles, but it is more common in people over the age of 60. Shingles cause a painful rash and nerve irritation, but it usually subsides after a few weeks. When the shingles pain continues and becomes chronic, it is called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). At Medici Medical Arts, we offer pain management and treatment for shingles post-herpetic neuralgia at our clinics near Atlanta.
What Causes PHN?
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a rash and nerve pain on one side of the body, usually on the ribcage or torso. While the infection dissipates after a few weeks, the damage to the nerves in the area can be permanent. Post-herpetic neuralgia, or PHN, occurs when nerve fibers are damaged during the shingles outbreak. There may be noticeable scar tissue on the skin where the rash occurred. Symptoms include:
- Burning, stabbing pain in the shingles outbreak area
- Pain lasting longer than 30 days or 90 days after initial shingle rash outbreak
- Skin is overly sensitive in the area or has decreased sensation
PHN can be aggravating, causing continuous pain. Many people have difficulty sleeping due to the pain and need pain management options to control their level of discomfort.
Treatments for Chronic Shingle Pain
In many cases, post-herpetic neuralgia, or chronic shingles pain, decreases over time as the nerve fibers heal. However, some people may continue to experience nerve pain, even after a year or more has passed since their shingles outbreak. Our team at Medici Medical Arts can help find pain management treatments for patients with PHN, including medication management and other pain control therapies.
If you have ongoing pain after an outbreak of shingles, you may have post-herpetic neuralgia. Contact our team at our clinics in Buckhead, Dacula and Kennesaw to explore treatments and pain management options.