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Shingles services offered in Hamilton NJ

If you’ve had shingles and experience burning, deep aching, numbness, or touch sensitivity, you could have shingles-related postherpetic neuralgia. At Interventional Pain Management Associates in Hamilton, New Jersey, double-board-certified pain management specialist Maher Ibrahim, MD, and his exceptional team diagnose and treat postherpetic neuralgia to give you a better quality of life. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.

ShinglesQ & A

What are shingles?

Shingles are a viral infection associated with an uncomfortable or painful rash. It often appears as a stripe of blisters that wraps around your torso. The same virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. For some people, postherpetic neuralgia develops after having shingles; it typically occurs because of damaged nerve fibers.

What are the symptoms of shingles?

Common symptoms of shingles include:

  • Touch sensitivity
  • Pain, numbness, burning, or tingling
  • Red rash
  • Itching
  • Blisters
  • Fever
  • Light sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Pain

Symptoms that can occur due to post-shingles postherpetic neuralgia include:

  • Deep aching
  • Sharp pain
  • Burning pain
  • Jabbing discomfort 
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Temperature changes
  • Itchiness
  • Numbness
  • Reduced appetite 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Fatigue

Pain that appears because of postherpetic neuralgia is similar to discomfort you experience during a shingles outbreak.

Who gets shingles and postherpetic neuralgia?

While anyone can develop shingles and postherpetic neuralgia, some factors increase your risk of getting them. 

Shingles often affect adults over 45, and about half of people over age 60 have had the condition. Additional risk factors include having a weak immune system, undergoing cancer treatment, and taking certain medications.

Risk factors for developing post-shingles postherpetic neuralgia include:

  • Being over age 50
  • Severe cases of shingles
  • Diabetes
  • Other chronic diseases
  • Getting shingles on your torso or face
  • Not getting treated for shingles right away

Sometimes your nerves become permanently damaged after having shingles. Postherpetic neuralgia could last 2-3 years or longer in some cases.

How does my doctor diagnose postherpetic neuralgia?

Your pain specialist diagnoses postherpetic neuralgia after reviewing your symptoms and medical history. They complete a physical exam and may touch your skin in specific places, take a skin scraping, or recommend that you undergo blood tests.

How is postherpetic neuralgia treated?

To reduce postherpetic neuralgia discomfort, your specialist might recommend one or more of the following:

  • Over-the-counter skin creams
  • Prescription medicines
  • Skin patches
  • Steroid injections

Your specialist might combine more than one type of treatment to offer you highly effective pain relief. They personalize each postherpetic neuralgia treatment and make changes to your regimen if needed to offer long-lasting comfort.

Shingles vaccinations can significantly reduce your risk of postherpetic neuralgia. They appear to be more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and post-shingles pain.

If you struggle with post-shingles discomfort (postherpetic neuralgia), call the Interventional Pain Management Associates office or schedule an appointment online today.