Postherpetic Neuralgia Symptoms
Postherpetic neuralgia is characterized by pain that persists for months (or even years) after the shingles rash has healed. This pain can be mild or severe, and it is often difficult to treat. In the most severe cases, postherpetic neuralgia symptoms can also include insomnia, weight loss, and depression.
An Overview of Postherpetic Neuralgia SymptomsProbaby the most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia, a condition where the pain from shingles persists for months, sometimes years, after the shingles rash has healed. Pain that occurs with the initial shingles outbreak responds to treatment and is limited in duration (three to five weeks). In contrast, postherpetic neuralgia symptoms last longer, are often difficult to treat, and can be incapacitating.
For unknown reasons, older people tend to experience postherpetic neuralgia symptoms more than younger people.
Postherpetic Neuralgia Symptoms: Pain
Similar to shingles pain, the severity of postherpetic neuralgia pain can vary. Some people describe the pain as less painful than the pain with shingles, although still intense. In other individuals, the skin is so sensitive that clothing or even a passing breeze cannot be tolerated on the affected area.
The pain with postherpetic neuraligia may be described as agonizing, excruciating, burning, sharp, electric-like jabs, burning, throbbing, or aching. This pain can result in an inability to perform daily tasks of living. This can lead to a loss of independence and, ultimately, isolation.
Other Postherpetic Neuralgia Symptoms
In the most severe cases of postherpetic neuralgia, symptoms may also include:
Despite the potential severity of postherpetic neuralgia symptoms, the condition is not directly life-threatening.