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While the characteristic chicken pox rash is something that may stand out most noticeably for people who have chicken pox, when people develop shingles, it is usually the pain that is the most defining element of the outbreak. Once you have had chicken pox, the virus that causes it lies dormant in a networks of nerves in your spine until you experience something (like a cold, stress or infection) causes it to flare up again. The infection may be preceded by intense pain, and you may experience this pain for the rest of the outbreak. Speaking to doctors at affordable health care in Las Vegas can provide you with an effective treatment plan and a way to minimize your chances of recurring outbreaks.
The pain before and during shingles is bad enough, but for some people, it can become a chronic and extremely debilitating condition. 20 to 30 per cent of the 500 000 people who are affected by shingles every year will go on to suffer from chronic pain after their rash has healed. Some people will experience the pain for months or even years after their rash has gone. This condition is called post herpetic neuralgia and arises when the shingles virus damages nerves in the skin. Some people experience mild pain, but for others even the lightest touch can be very painful.
The effects of post herpetic neuralgia are really extreme on a social level, and some people find PHN completely destructive in their lives. On an emotional level, sufferers of post herpetic neuralgia may experience depression as a result of their inability to enjoy activities and participate in things as they did before they had the outbreak. It has also been found that people who develop PHN are also more likely to experience hypochondria, personality disorders, bodily complaints and worry about their diseases.
PHN is more likely to affect people who are sick and those whose immunity is suppressed because of treatment or disease. The risk factors for developing PHN include older people, women, people who had early warning signs or symptoms before the development of the rash, a severe rash or severe pain in the early stages of the illness. Researchers have also identified that the more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing post herpetic neuralgia.
If you are affected by shingles-related pain, doctors at clinics in Las Vegas can help you with effective pain relief and to restore your quality of life.