Definition: Postherpetic neuralgia is a nerve pain due to damage caused by the varicella zoster virus. Typically, the neuralgia is confined to a dermatomic area of the skin, and follows an outbreak of herpes zoster (commonly known as shingles) in that same dermatomic area. Disease Symptoms Common signs and symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia include: a) severe pain that continues for more than one to three months in the same place that the shingles occurred, even after the rash goes away; b) burning sensation on the skin, even from the slightest pressure; c) sensitivity to touch or temperature changes.
Topical treatments: a) Some creams that help with shingles pain contain capsaicin, the ingredient in cayenne pepper that gives it a kick. Examples are Capsin and Zostrix. b) Lidoderm is a patch that contains the anesthetic lidocaine. You apply it directly to the painful area of skin. statistics:The risk of postherpetic neuralgia increases with age, primarily affecting people older than 60. There's no cure, but treatments can ease symptoms. For most people, postherpetic neuralgia improves over time.