Exit

Health Condition

Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia

About This Condition

Shingles is a disease caused by the same virus (Varicella zoster) that causes chicken pox. Acute, painful inflamed blisters form on one side of the trunk along a peripheral nerve.

Shingles usually affects the elderly or people with compromised immune function. Nerve pain that persists after other symptoms have cleared is called postherpetic neuralgia.

Symptoms

Symptoms include pain, itching, or a tingling sensation prior to the appearance of a severely painful skin rash of red, fluid-filled blisters that later crust over. The rash is typically located on the trunk or face and only affects one side of the body. Pain may resolve rapidly or persist in the area of the rash for months to years after the rash disappears.

References

1. Bernstein JE, Korman NJ, Bickers DR, et al. Topical capsaicin treatment of chronic postherpetic neuralgia. J Am Acad Dermatol 1989;21:265-70.

2. Sklar SH, Blue WT, Alexander EJ, et al. Herpes zoster. The treatment and prevention of neuralgia with adenosine monophosphate. JAMA 1985;253:1427-30.

3. Sklar SH, Wigand JS. Herpes zoster. Br J Dermatol 1981;104:351-2.

4. Baba M, Shigeta S. Antiviral activity of glycyrrhizin against varicella-zoster virus in vitro. Antivir Res 1987;7:99-107.

5. Schiller F. Herpes zoster: review, with preliminary report on new method for treatment of postherpetic neuralgia. J Am Geriatr Soc 1954;2:726-35.

6. Heyblon R. Vitamin B12 in herpes zoster. JAMA 1951;146:1338 (abstract).

7. Ayres S Jr, Mihan R. Post-herpes zoster neuralgia: response to vitamin E therapy. Arch Dermatol 1973;108:855-66.

8. Ayres S Jr, Mihan R. Post-herpes zoster neuralgia: response to vitamin E therapy. Arch Dermatol 1975;111:396.

9. Coghlan CJ. Herpes zoster treated by acupuncture. Cent Afr J Med 1992;38:466-7.

10. Lewith GT, Field J, Machin D. Acupuncture compared with placebo in post-herpetic pain. Pain 1983;17:361-8.

11. Shenefelt PD. Hypnosis in dermatology. Arch Dermatol 2000;136:393-9.

12. Irwin M, Costlow C, Williams H, et al. Cellular immunity to varicella-zoster virus in patients with major depression. J Infect Dis 1998;178 (Suppl 1):S104-8.

13. Engberg IB, Grondahl GB, Thibom K. Patients' experiences of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia. J Adv Nurs 1995;21:427-33.

14. Schmader K, George LK, Burchett BM, Pieper CF. Racial and psychosocial risk factors for herpes zoster in the elderly. J Infect Dis 1998;178 (Suppl 1):S67-70.

15. Schmader K, Studenski S, MacMillan J, et al. Are stressful life events risk factors for herpes zoster? J Am Geriatr Soc 1990;38:1188-94.

16. Gupta MA, Gupta AK. Herpes zoster in the medically healthy child and covert severe child abuse. Cutis 2000;66:221-3.

Copyright © 2018 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.