Postherpetic neuralgia is a pain condition that sometimes occurs after a patient has had shingles. Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus as chickenpox. If the pain in the area lasts for more than three months after the rash has healed, this is considered postherpetic neuralgia. It is due to nerve damage cause by the infection.
The main symptom is pain in the location where the shingles rash occurred, lasting longer than three months after the rash has healed. It most often occurs in people over 60 years old. The pain can be stabbing, aching, burning, or shocking. It may be continuous to occasional, mild to very severe. People who suffer from this condition are very sensitive to touch and changes in temperature.
Postherpetic neuralgia is diagnosed based on a history of shingles and pain in the area lasting more than three months after the rash has healed.