Definition of Postherpetic neuralgia
Postherpetic neuralgia: The most common complication of shingles, persistence of the pain associated with shingles beyond 1 month, even after the rash is gone. The pain can be severe and debilitating, and it occurs primarily in persons over age 50. The pain of postherpetic neuralgia can be reduced by certain medications including tricyclic antidepressant medications and some antiseizure medications. Capsaicin cream, a derivative of hot chili peppers, or lidocaine patches can be applied on the area after all the blisters have healed, to reduce pain. Acupuncture and electric nerve stimulation through the skin can be helpful for some patients.
Last Editorial Review: 3/30/2012
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