Q:

How long does shingles pain last if no antivirals were taken?

A:

Quick Answer

About half of the people who are not treated for shingles experience pain for months or years after the infection appears, according to WebMD. In some, the pain never goes away. Patients with this chronic pain have postherpetic neuralgia, which occurs when the shingles virus damages skin nerves.

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Full Answer

If a patient still has pain three months after the shingles rash has cleared up, the diagnosis is postherpetic neuralgia, reports WebMD. It is not clear why some people develop this condition, but the longer it lasts, the more likely it is to continue. The pain of postherpetic neuralgia varies significantly from patient to patient. Some experience mild discomfort. In others, any contact is agonizing, even clothing resting on the skin.

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