Saturday, March 15, 2008

Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

A fancy way of referring to the weird stinging pains and itches that linger after a bout of shingles. My PHN isn't terribly severe, although I do catch myself scratching my head fairly frequently. But once in a while it'll feel like someone suddenly stabbed a hypodermic needle into my scalp where the lesions broke out over a month ago. From what I read about PHN, it's a good thing my healthcare provider prescribed Valtrex so quickly, because it can reduce the severity of PHN or even prevent it from occurring.

The nerve damage resulting from an attack of herpes zoster is the culprit behind PHN. Some researchers did MRIs on people with shingles and found that about half of them had visible lesions on nerve tissue after a HZ attack.

Weird, weird virus.

1 comment:

Moron Pundit said...

I had shingles at a couple of years ago when I was 24 and had NO idea what was happening until the pain was so unbearable I couldn't sit down or sleep.

After some convincing (it looked like something else...) the doctor decided it was shingles and gave me an anti-viral which helped but not as much as the pain-killers.

I have to agree, it is a weird, weird virus and insanely painful. Luckily, I had very little in the way of PHN but I was also lucky (sorta) that it wasn't on my face and head.

I hope it never comes back but that seems pretty optimistic.