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Loan Repayment Programs Post-herpetic neuralgia is defined as persistence or recurrence of pain in the same area, more than a month after the onset of herpes zoster. It becomes increasingly common with age, affecting about a third of patients over 40. It is particularly likely if there is facial infection. Post-herpetic neuralgia may be a continuous burning sensation with increased sensitivity in the affected areas or a spasmodic shooting pain. The overlying skin is often numb or exquisitely sensitive to touch. Sometimes, instead of pain, the neuralgia results in a persistent itch (neuropathic pruritus).
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Takeaway This is because shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus. Search by Disorder Mayo Clinic Health Letter Bacterial skin infections Eat well. This means getting a balanced variety of nutritious foods at and between meals, and keeping those that are high in saturated fat, salt, and empty calories to a minimum. 
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It occurs when the nerves have been damaged after an outbreak of shingles. Pain ranges from mild to very severe. Postherpetic neuralgia is more likely to occur in people over age 60.
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Contribute to Dermnet Teaching and learning guides Follow us Some people who develop shingles continue to suffer pain and other symptoms long after their rash has cleared up. This condition is known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). If you have PHN, your doctor may prescribe other drugs to help manage your pain, including tricyclic antidepressants, opioids, anticonvulsants, and topical local anesthetics.
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Meetings, Hearings and Special Events Shingles treatments include several antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs such as famciclovir or valacyclovir are often given, particularly to older people and to people with a weakened immune system. Acyclovir is sometimes used, but famciclovir or valacyclovir are generally preferred. These drugs are taken by mouth.
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People over the age of 50 You cannot catch shingles from another person with shingles; however a person who has never had chicken pox or been vaccinated for chicken pox could get chicken pox from someone with shingles.
Shingles is a common disease — almost 1 in 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime. The good news is that the shingles vaccine, called Shingrix®, is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles.
Fight Fleas and Ticks First, the VZV vaccine, otherwise known as the chickenpox vaccine, may decrease the incidence of shingles by enhancing the immune system’s ability to fight off VZV (about 70%-90% effective) or keep this virus inactive. This vaccine is usually administered to children, but the immunity may decline in about 15-20 years. The single-dose vaccine dose is given to babies 12-18 months of age. Most vaccine side effects, if they occur, are mild and range from a rash, skin redness, and swelling to small chickenpox lesions, usually at the injection site. Boosters of this vaccine for use in adults are now being investigated and may help prevent shingles in the future.
If an adult or child has direct contact with the shingles rash and did not have chickenpox as a child or get the chickenpox vaccine, they can develop chickenpox, not shingles.
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Analgesics (pain medicine) may help relieve the pain caused by shingles. Wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloidal oatmeal baths may help relieve some of the itching.
What Is the Prognosis for Shingles? What Are Possible Shingles Complications?
TYLENOL Pain may last after the rash is gone. This is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). About 10%-15% of all shingles patients get PHN. The older the patient, the more likely they will develop PHN, and the pain that develops frequently is severe. PHN pain often lasts months and occasionally may go on for years. A new drug, Horizant (described above), may reduce the PHN symptoms.
Excessive Clotting Disorders Antiviral drugs, if started before blisters appear, can help relieve symptoms and help them resolve sooner, but pain relievers, including opioids, are often needed.
If one suspects PHN, a physician should be seen as soon as possible. The physician may make a referral to a pain specialist, neurologist or anesthesiologist who has experience in working with PHN patients.
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