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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 localization and distribution of the skin findings are distinctive. Typically, HZ is unilateral, does not cross the midline, and is localized to a single dermatome of a single sensory ganglion (adjacent dermatomes are involved in 20% of cases).4 The most common sites are the thoracic nerves and the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve. Herpes zoster ophthalmicus, which occurs in 10% to 20% of HZ episodes,5 can involve the entire eye, causing keratitis, scarring, and vision loss. An early sign of this condition is vesicles on the tip, side, or root of the nose (Hutchinson sign). Herpes zoster of the second and third divisions of the trigeminal nerve may produce symptoms and lesions in the mouth, ears, pharynx, or larynx. Ramsay Hunt syndrome, ie, facial paralysis and lesions of the ear (zoster oticus) that are often accompanied by tinnitus, vertigo, and deafness, results from involvement of the facial and auditory nerves. Some cases of Bell palsy may be a form of zoster sine herpete.