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What Happens To Untreated Postherpetic Neuralgia & When To Go To Doctor?

Postherpetic neuralgia is a common health problem that is associated with shingles. This problem mainly affects the nerve fibers and the skin, leading to burning pain.

Shingles cause rash and blisters, which disappear with time but the burning pain lasts long.

Herpes zoster is the virus causing shingles and with age, the risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia also increases. It has been observed that people who are above sixty years are highly prone to develop shingles. To date, no permanent treatment has been identified, but timely treatment and precautions can ease the painful symptoms.

What Happens To Untreated Postherpetic Neuralgia?

What Happens To Untreated Postherpetic Neuralgia?

If Postherpetic neuralgia is left untreated for a prolonged period of time then it can lead to some severe and painful problems in the patients. Although the problems vary from one individual to another some of the common consequences are as follows:

It is true that there is no permanent treatment option is available for this problem but it is left untreated then it can lead to some severe consequences. In most of the cases, doctors ask the patients to make some simple changes in their daily lifestyle. Some over the counter medications like capsaicin and topical analgesics and anesthetics can provide huge relief from the unbearable pain. However, if possible, one should consult with their doctor before taking the medication to avoid any unexpected consequences later. This makes the medication very safe and secure. (1)

When To See A Doctor For Postherpetic Neuralgia?

It is advised that one should immediately visit a doctor when they first identify shingles on their bodies. In most cases, patients start experiencing the pain far before trash occurs on their skin. Experts have revealed that the possibility of getting postherpetic neuralgia reduces drastically if the patient starts the medication in the very early stage of spotting the first symptoms.

Usually, people first consult their family doctor for primary consultation. Further, if the required doctor may refer the patient to a neurologist or any other specialist doctor. Let’s take a look at some of the ways by which one can get ready for the medical appointment.

After making the appointment, one needs to enquire in advance about some of the basic details like, whether they need to fast for any specific test or not, etc. Make a list of questions that will help in confirming that no important question is left unanswered:

  • List the symptoms experienced and discuss all of them in detail with the doctor.
  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment, and when they began.
  • Share the past medical history along with the family medical history. One should also ensure to discuss the lifestyle, daily routine and eating habits.
  • Discuss ongoing medications or supplements.
  • List all the doubts or questions and get clarity on every doubt
  • While the doctor answers the questions make sure to note so that you do not forget about the details later. (2)

Postherpetic Neuralgia Symptoms

The symptoms of this problem are limited to the infected area of the skin only. Symptoms usually occur in the back area of the tummy and on the sides of the body. List of common symptoms include:

Even after the rashes caused by shingles are healed, still, the pain lasts for more than two and a half months. The pain can be specifically described as sharp/pointed pain, burning sensation, deep aching and so on.

The skin of the people suffering from this problem becomes very sensitive. In fact, it has been observed that these patients cannot even bear the rubbing of cloths on skin.
Constant sensation of itching and numbness is another common symptom experienced by the people who are suffering from postherpetic neuralgia. (1)


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 2, 2019

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