Postherpetic neuralgia: know the enemy in the face
Good day, dear readers! Today we will talk about postherpetic neuralgia.
About six months ago I was approached by a friend with severe pain that literally paralyzed one half of her face.
Later it turned out that a couple of weeks before that, she had shingles on her face. She was very worried that the disease has returned, as I didn’t want to suffer all the symptoms again.
Instead, she faced a serious complication of herpes zoster is herpes zoster called postherpetic neuralgia. What is it and how to get rid of it? If you want to know the answers, then read the article carefully.
What is neuralgia?
It is a complex of painful feelings in specific area of the body, which is the affected nerve. The main symptom of any type of neuralgia is the pain. She may be pulling, piercing, chilling.
My friend was sick for one half of the face, while the pain intensified during a conversation, the manifestation of facial expressions and any other movements. Why the face? The thing is that her inflamed trigeminal nerve.
Postherpetic neuralgia – what is it and why is happening?
From the title it is clear that such neuralgia occurs after herpes, not any, namely herpes zoster after herpes zoster. What is it?
Herpes zoster shingles is the recurrence of the wind «child» of smallpox – a rare phenomenon that occurs due to reactivation of the virus third type in the body.
As you know, herpes viruses after the first outbreaks in the nerves and get over there asleep. If there are favorable conditions, the virus wakes up again and create a relapse.
While the affected nerve, in which they settled, inflame and, of course, will bother pain.
Most often, post herpetic neuralgia, which has its own code in ICD 10 «B02.2+» affects:
- trigeminal nerve on the face;
- the intercostal nerves.
Therefore, localized disease can in the face, usually the cheeks; on side, on stomach, on back.
The above phenomenon is very unpleasant and lengthy. My friend, who is now additionally became a patient of mine, a painful syndrome was observed for 3 months. And she got off easy, as some people have neuralgia lasts for years.
If you have just had herpes zoster, don’t be surprised that the place on which it was located, continues to hurt. But if zoster (a recurrence of chickenpox) have not been, then be careful, because neuralgia is the initial symptom of this disease.
Neuralgia many are confused with other pathologies. So my friend at first thought she was just handed at work. How to understand that this is postherpetic syndrome? You need to know its features.
Symptoms: how to distinguish postherpetic neuralgia from other diseases?
Classic postherpetic neuralgia only occurs after herpes zoster, what is clear from the title. Therefore, to distinguish her from other health problems will be easy.
If the place where you was herpes zoster, continues to hurt, you faced the above phenomenon. What else but pain you can feel? The following additional symptoms faced by almost all:
The duration of the presence of symptoms different. To the question: how long is neuralgic disease there is no single answer. My experience allows to make such a conclusion: the most frequent duration of neuralgia after herpes is 2-4 weeks.
4-5% ill symptoms persist for 2-3 months, and 2% are suffering we have to endure them for more than a year.
The longer you will suffer neuralgia after herpes infection, the more resistant she will become.
For example, additional symptoms such as muscle weakness pursue some of my patients over the years, despite all therapeutic measures.
I have a patient who continues to experience discomfort in the affected site after neuralgia, despite the fact that he was sick for 7 years ago!
Now that you understand what we have to endure people with postherpetic neuralgia? For example, I would give anything to never know. I hope you will support me.
If you too are worried about this, then you should know who is at risk and can get sick with high probability.
At risk: who might get sick?
It is obvious that without herpes zoster postherpetic neuralgia will not start. Therefore, included in the risk group in the first place, people with herpes recurrence of chickenpox.
Relapse is triggered by a sharp decline in immunity and occurs mostly in older people. Not only old men could face sharp weakening of the immune system.
My friend, for example, weakening occurred due to hormonal drugs that she was appointed gynecologist to prevent pregnancy.
Now she even does not want to hear about the hormonal pills, prefer to protect themselves in the classical manner. What else affects the immune system?
An increased probability of Contracting herpes ringworm and purchase posterino neuralgia are people who are regularly exposed to influence of harmful factors adversely affecting the immune system, such as:
- exacerbation of chronic infections;
- stress and depression;
- a change of residence or climate;
- bad habits;
- irregular or improper diet;
- complex treatment;
- old age.
If you belong to a risk group, then start to get rid of harmful factors, if possible, as soon as possible. Remember, your health care only you and no one will take care of him except you.
Complications postherpetic neuralgia: what could be?
Just a couple of days ago went to the pharmacy and there overheard a conversation between two older men. One complained to the other for the problem described in this article. After complaints, the second man said, «well, anything can happen, maybe more, and longer».
I have a little eye on his forehead is not reached after this phrase! Will the pain stop? No, of course this will not happen, at least not in the case of postherpetic neuralgia.
Do not even think to leave neuralgia without treatment! If you do, you can face such complications as:
- chronic fatigue and irritability, on the ground which will develop serious health problems, up to heart failure;
- rapid decline of body weight (the body will literally dry up from pain);
- the decline in the health and social activity (when we have something hurts, we don’t want to do anything).
And what then to do with the neurological syndrome that developed after herpes? Of course, a treat! How is the treatment of traditional and non-traditional ways, read the next paragraph of the article.
Treatment of neuralgia due to herpes zoster: traditional and non-traditional
His friend and you, dear readers, I recommend to deal with this problem through traditional methods of treatment in the first place, namely using drugs with a powerful effect such as:
Anticonvulsants — Gabapentin or similar. This drug is better than classical analgesics relieve pain, but it will have some trouble, namely, to select an individual dosage.
Here’s how: on the first day you drink 300 mg of the drug once in the evening and watch the result, if not helped, then the next day the dosage is doubled (300 mg morning and evening), etc. on the rise.
Classic effective dose of Gabapentin my patients is 1800-3600 mg/day. Once the main symptoms are removed, you will have to drink this medicine some time in the maintenance dose of 600-1200 mg/day.
Tricyclic antidepressants – Nortriptyline, for example, which is more suitable for older people.
With drug you get rid of mental disorders and greatly facilitate their daily condition. Although the recommended dosage is 20-100 mg/day.
Patches with Lidocaine in the composition is not difficult to guess what they need. In any pharmacy you easily negativistic is the best medicine so easy. Stick a band-aid on the problem areas at 9-12 hours.
At night you can use a maximum of 3 plasters. If you have neuralgia on the face, then you have to mask the patch, as it looks quite noticeable.
Opioid analgesics is a serious narcotic painkillers. If you can do without them, then try to do it. Such analgesics are allowed to take only if no other therapeutic measures do not help.
Acupuncture is a nontraditional method of treatment of neuralgia after herpes zoster
My friend recently shared with me the secret, which has greatly improved his condition for a short period of time and eventually got rid of the neuralgia. She underwent several treatments of acupuncture.
Speaking in plain language, it is the acupuncture, which is carried out in a specific area to achieve different effects.
You will not be able to make yourself acupuncture because they do not get into the point. So be sure to consult an experienced chiropractor, if you want to try acupuncture.
National treatment: is it worth it to try?
Of course, necessary, as in war, as they say, all good. The main thing is to choose a really effective folk remedies. To help you choose, read the list that I recommend:
What’s better: conventional medicine or unconventional? Better and more correct to combine these therapies in the home, as they will enhance the effectiveness of each other.
If you’ve tried traditional recipes from the article, then be sure to leave a review and tell us did you like this treatment or not.
Prevention and conclusion
Shingles herpes zoster can develop every recover from chicken pox person. There is no specific prevention, but you still can prevent this complication if we want to.
For this regularly to strengthen your immune system, avoid stress and refrain from harmful habits.
After reading the article, you know what’s postherpetic neuralgia, why it occurs and how to treat it. If the article was interesting and informative, then tell us about what you’re reading with your friends on social networks and subscribe to site updates. I wish you good health and all the best!
Author: Anna Derbeneva (dermatologist)