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How Long Does Shingles Nerve Pain Last

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Can Postherpetic Neuralgia Be Prevented

New treatment for the pain of shingles

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a shingles vaccine, which can reduce your chance of getting shingles and PHN. The recombinant herpes-zoster vaccine is recommended to prevent shingles in adults ages 50 and older. The vaccination is given in two doses, two to six months apart. The two-dose vaccine is 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Protection lasts at least for four years after you get vaccinated.

If you have never had chickenpox or have children who have never had chickenpox, getting the chickenpox vaccine can help prevent getting this infection in the first place. If you never get chickenpox, you will not have the varicella-zoster virus in your body and will not get shingles or PHN.

How Is Shingles Diagnosed And Treated

If you think you might have shingles, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Its important to see your doctor no later than three days after the rash starts. The doctor will confirm whether you have shingles and can make a treatment plan. Most cases can be diagnosed from a visual examination. If you have a condition that weakens the immune system, your doctor may order a shingles test. Although there is no cure for shingles, early treatment with antiviral medications can help the blisters clear up faster and limit severe pain. Shingles can often be treated at home.

Spinal Cord Or Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

These are often used to treat several different types of neuropathic pain. Electrodes are placed underneath the skin along the affected peripheral nerves. Before using this technique, doctors will do a test using a wire electrode to get a sense of how the patient will respond.

After the electrodes have been placed above the peripheral nerve, a weak electrical current is sent to the nerve. By stimulating a sensory pathway that doesnt cause pain, experts believe that this electrical signal to the brain can trick the brain into turning off the painful signal, bringing relief to the patient.

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What You Can Do To Help Recover From Shingles

There is no cure for shingles, but there are medications, including antiviral medications, such as acyclovir or valacyclovir, to help fight the infection.

While your shingles is active, you should:

  • Rest and relax. Try moderate activities, such as walking and listening to music that can help take your mind off the pain. For severe , your doctor may prescribe narcotic pain relievers, corticosteroids, and anticonvulsants.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • Keep the rash clean and dry. Do not cover it or use ointments, which can prevent the blisters from bursting and beginning to scab over.
  • Try cool compresses, calamine lotion, or an oatmeal bath to ease the itching and pain of the .
  • Dont share bedding, clothing or towels in order to avoid spreading the infection while you have blisters.

There are effective vaccinations available to prevent shingles, so if you have had chickenpox, talk with your healthcare provider about getting protected from .

Shingles: Postherpetic Neuralgia’s Stubborn Mother

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PHN is triggered by shingles which is triggered by chicken pox. Some think of shingles as adult chicken pox and while it’s true both shingles and chicken pox are caused by varicella-zoster virusa common infection of the nervesthat’s pretty much where the similarity ends.

If you had chicken pox as a kid the varicella-zoster virus has been residing in your body ever since. It didn’t leave when your chicken pox resolved. Instead, it took up residence and remained a low-maintenance tenant until either age, a weakened immune system, stress, or some sort of cruel combination transformed the varicella-zoster virus into the herpes virus causing shinglesa much more demanding occupant.

Shingles typically starts with a variety of sensationsburning, tingling, and itching. Within days a blistery rash appears, usually on one side of the body typically around the torso, and the sensations may get more severe and painful. Within weeks the rash disappears and with it, those sensations.

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Are There Other Ways To Ease The Pain

Most people with postherpetic neuralgia use medication to control their symptoms. But there are other ways to control the pain, too. They include:

TENS : You use a device that shoots tiny electrical currents into the area of pain on the skin. This helps block the pain.

Cold packs: Try a gel-filled one to numb the area unless cooler objects make your neuralgia worse.

Comfortable clothes: Go for looser fits and fabrics such as cotton and silk.

How Long Does It Take For Someone To Recover From Shingles

  • How Long Does It Take for Someone to Recover From Shingles? Center
  • Shingles or herpes zoster is a viral infection that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles is characterized by painful rash, small blisters, burning and tingling on the affected skin. While it can affect any part of the body, it usually affects one side.

    Typically, it takes about 2-5 weeks for someone to recover from shingles, although some cases may take longer.

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    Higher Intensity Of Pain With Internal Shingles

    While both regular shingles and internal shingles can cause preherpetic neuralgia, this condition has been found to be more severe in the latter case.

    One study found that at the onset of symptoms, after one month, and after three months, internal shingles patients had consistently more severe and persistent pain. Overall, however, preherpetic neuralgia occurs much more frequently in regular herpes zoster patients.

    When To Seek Care

    Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

    Early shingles symptoms, such as pain or flu-like feelings, are not obvious signs of a shingles outbreak.

    Once a rash appears, you should see your primary care physician or a dermatologist. A trained eye can often diagnose shingles by visually inspecting the rash.

    If you have shingles, you may never experience the extreme pain that can often come with it. You may only feel itching and some minor discomfort.

    Even without the painful symptoms of shingles, its recommended that you see a healthcare professional and start antiviral treatment within 72 hours of a rashs appearance.

    Its especially important to seek prompt medical care if a rash forms near one or both eyes. Shingles in the eye may cause permanent vision loss.

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    What Can I Do For The Pain

    To help with the pain of shingles, your doctor might have you take an over-the-counter pain medicine. This could include acetaminophen or ibuprofen .

    Applying a medicated anti-itch lotion to the blisters might reduce the pain and itching. Placing cool compresses soaked in water mixed with white vinegar on the blisters and sores might also help.

    If shingles causes severe pain, your doctor might prescribe a stronger pain medicine.

    What Are The Complications Of Postherpetic Neuralgia

    PHN itself is a complication of shingles. A serious complication of PHN is addiction to pain medications. Some patients may have an inability to live a normal lifestyle because of constant pain, while others have sleep and activities limited or even prohibited by touching the affected area, including just having contact with their own clothing. Patients taking opioids may become very constipated. In a few cases of PHN, muscle weakness can be an additional complication.

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    Have Shingles Get Treatment Take Action

    If you have shingles, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your risk for developing PHN. Ask whether preventative treatment with antiviral drugs makes sense. If your doctor says it’s not necessary, ask why.

    The full implications of the psychological risk factors for PHN aren’t clear yet, says Dworkin. But he suggests that people with shingles should try to stay active and connected.

    “If psychological distress is a risk factor for PHN,” he says, “then we think that people who have shingles might benefit from getting out and not being isolated and homebound.”

    You might make an effort to stay connected to family and friends and not to dwell on your symptoms. Also, keep in mind that even if you do develop PHN, there are treatments that can help.

    “We have about a half dozen types of drugs that are used as first-line treatments for PHN,” says Dworkin. They include lidocaine patch , pregabalin , gabapentin , capsaicin , carbamazepine , tricyclic antidepressants, and painkillers.

    The most important thing is to get prompt medical attention if you think you might have shingles.

    “If you have a one-sided rash — especially if you’re over 50 — see your doctor right away,” says Dworkin. “It could be shingles. And we know that prompt treatment can dramatically reduce the likelihood of developing long-term pain.”

    Best Pain Doctor For Shingles Pain Treatment Is Roziermd

    Shingles Updates

    If you have shingles pain, you should immediately seek the care and treatment of a reputable pain doctor.

    Dr. Antonio Rozier is a highly experienced and reputable pain management doctor. He is the best pain doctor for shingles pain treatment. He is equipped with different interventional techniques and treatments for various types of pain including shingles pain.

    If you have shingles pain or you are searching for a doctor that is very experienced in the treatment of shingles pain, Dr. Rozier is highly recommended.

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    Is It Possible To Prevent Postherpetic Neuralgia

    If shingles can be prevented, then PHN can be prevented. Fortunately, the vaccine Zostavax is about 70% effective in preventing shingles. The CDC recommends that everyone older than 60 years of age get the vaccine in 2011, the FDA approved the vaccine for people aged 50 and above. The CDC states, “Zostavax should not be given to pregnant women, persons with a primary or acquired immunodeficiency, or to persons with a history of anaphylactic reaction to gelatin, neomycin, or any other component of the vaccine. Herpes zoster vaccine can be administered simultaneously with other indicated vaccines.”

    What Are The Complications Of Shingles

    Symptoms of shingles usually dont last longer than 3 to 5 weeks. However, complications can happen. The main complications that can result from shingles include:

    • Postherpetic neuralgia . The most common complication of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia . This continuous, chronic pain lasts even after the skin lesions have healed. The pain may be severe in the area where the blisters were present. The affected skin may be very sensitive to heat and cold. If you had severe pain during the active rash or have impaired senses, you are at increased risk for PHN. The elderly are also at greater risk. Early treatment of shingles may prevent PHN. Pain relievers and steroid treatment may be used to treat the pain and inflammation. Other treatments include antiviral drugs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents.
    • Bacterial infection. A bacterial infection of the skin where the rash happens is another complication. Rarely, infections can lead to more problems, such as tissue death and scarring. When an infection happens near or on the eyes, a corneal infection can happen. This can lead to temporary or permanent blindness.

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    Is It Possible To Avoid Shingles

    Most people get shingles only once, but it is possible to get it two or more times.

    Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles later in life. There is a shingles vaccine that may help prevent shingles, or make it less painful. The vaccine is recommended for adults ages 60 and older, even if theyve previous had shingles.

    For children and adults who never had chickenpox, there is a vaccine that can help avoid getting the virus that causes both chickenpox and shingles.

    For anyone who has never had chickenpox and has not received the chickenpox vaccine, it is best to avoid contact with people who have shingles or chickenpox. Fluid from shingles blisters is contagious and can cause chickenpox, but not shingles.

    The Stages Of Shingles Recovery

    Treatment for shingles pain

    After the rash develops, which usually appears on only one side of the body, it forms . You may feel like you have the flu or a mild . As you recover, you will typically go through these stages:

    • Blisters begin to burst or weep about 5 days after they develop, and lasts from 7 to 10 days. You should take time off from work and other activities during this period, because you can spread the virus to others through the fluid in the blisters. Otherwise, you can return to work when you feel comfortable doing so.
    • The blisters will scab over and begin to heal, which takes from 1 to 3 weeks, unless the rash is on your scalp in which case it can take several months.
    • As they heal, the blisters become smaller and less painful, generally over a period of 3 to 5 weeks.
    • About 10 to 15% of people with shingles will develop chronic , which can be severe. Sensitivity to touch at the site of the rash is possible. The older you are, the more likely it is you will develop this disorder, called post-herpetic , or PHN. The pain often lessens over time. Available treatments include anti-inflammatory injections, , certain tricyclic antidepressants, or capsaicin cream, which is made from chili peppers and can help ease nerve pain.

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    Key Points About Shingles

    • Shingles is a common viral infection of the nerves. It causes a painful rash or small blisters on an area of skin.
    • Shingles is caused when the chickenpox virus is reactivated.
    • It is more common in people with weakened immune systems, and in people over the age of 50.
    • Shingles starts with skin sensitivity, tingling, itching, and/or pain followed by rash that looks like small, red spots that turn into blisters.
    • The rash is typically affects just one area on one side of the body or face.
    • Treatment that is started as soon as possible helps reduce the severity of the disease.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

    Usually, shingles develops on just one side of the body or face, and in a small area. The most common place for shingles to occur is in a band around one side of the waistline.

    Most people with shingles have one or more of the following symptoms:

    • Fluid-filled blisters
    • Tingling, itching, or numbness of the skin
    • Chills, fever, headache, or upset stomach

    For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze. Its important to talk with your doctor if you notice any shingles symptoms.

    If you notice blisters on your face, see your doctor right away because this is an urgent problem. Blisters near or in the eye can cause lasting eye damage and blindness. Hearing loss, a brief paralysis of the face, or, very rarely, inflammation of the brain can also occur.

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    Preventing Nerve Pain After Shingles

    But if you’re worried about PHN, don’t despair. There are medications that can cut your risks of getting the condition. There are three antiviral drugs used: famciclovir , valacyclovir , and acyclovir . These medications need to be started within two to three days of the onset of shingles.

    “If you look at the clinical trials with any of these drugs in people over 50,” says Dworkin, “they cut the rate of pain at six months in half. That’s a very significant improvement.” They are also very safe and have few side effects, he says.

    But who needs the drugs? Dworkin says there’s not a clear consensus yet.

    There are some obvious cases. “I think everyone would agree that someone who is over 50 and has severe symptoms should get preventative treatment,” he tells WebMD.

    But for younger people or those with fewer risk factors, the course is less clear.

    “Some people think that everyone who gets shingles should get preventative treatment with antiviral medicines, because the medicines are so safe and have such few side effects,” he says.

    Others argue that preventative treatment should only be given to those at greater risk. The main reason for this, Dworkin says, is cost.

    “A full course of treatment could cost anywhere between $100 and $160,” he says. “That can add up, and insurance companies might not want to pay if the risks are very, very low.”

    Risk Factors For Developing Postherpetic Neuralgia

    Shingles: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention
    • Age: People older than 60 years of age are at increased risk of developing PHN and experiencing longer lasting, more severe pain. According to the CDC, about 10% to 13% of adults aged 60 years or older with shingles develop PHN, whereas PHN is rare in people younger than 40 years old.¹ Older people who have shingles have about a 50% chance of developing PHN.

    • Severity of your shingles symptoms: If your shingles symptoms are severe, or if shingles affects your eyes, you’re more likely to develop PHN.

    • Other health conditions: People who have suppressed immune systems are more likely to get PHN.²³

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    How Can I Take Care Of Myself

    • Take a pain-relief medicine such as acetaminophen. Take other medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
    • Put cool, moist washcloths on the rash.
    • Rest in bed during the early stages if you have fever and other symptoms.
    • Try not to let clothing or bed linens rub against the rash and irritate it.
    • You develop worsening pain or fever.
    • You develop a severe headache, stiff neck, hearing loss, or changes in your ability to think.
    • The blisters show signs of bacterial infection, such as increasing pain or redness, or milky yellow drainage from the blister sites.
    • The blisters are close to the eyes or you have pain in your eyes or trouble seeing.
    • You have trouble walking.

    When To Seek Medical Advice

    Shingles is not usually serious, but you should see your GP as soon as possible if you recognise the symptoms. Early treatment may help reduce the severity of your symptoms and the risk of developing complications.

    You should also see your GP if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system and you think you have been exposed to someone with chickenpox or shingles and haven’t had chickenpox before.

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