The Vault

Are you suffering from post herpetic neuralgia(PHN)? Spine Center of Texas will be listing down treatment options you can try to relieve the pain:

  • Try wearing loose fitting cotton clothes in order to reduce irritation on the affected skin area.
  • Wrap ice cubes in a plastic bag and apply it directly to the affected area. Alternatively, you can take a cool bath.
  • Try putting several layers of cling film to your skin to allow clothes to slide over it without irritating it.
  • One common treatment for PHN is antidepressant medicine in the tricyclic group. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, can ease nerve pain. Nortriptyline may also be used to treat PHN. It can take 2-3 weeks for the pain to go away, but it’s best to continue taking medication for at least 4-6 weeks to see how well the antidepressant is working. If the pain returns, you should re-start the anti-depressant quickly. One downside of taking this type of medication is that it causes drowsiness at first.
  • Anti-epileptic medicines or anticonvulsants can be used as an antidepressant alternative. Gabapentin, which is used to treat epilepsy, has also been gaunt to ease nerve pain since it can stop the nerve impulses that cause pain. Same as the antidepressants, it may take weeks before seeing any improvement.
  • Lidocaine patches contain the active ingredient, lidocaine, that can seep into your skin and block the pain signals coming from your nerves. You should wear a patch for 12 hours on or near the painful area, then leave the skin open for the next 12 hours.
  • Capsaicin cream is often used as the last treatment option. If the above treatments fail to provide relief, your doctor may prescribe this type of cream. However, using such product may cause problems and side effects. It can cause a intense burning feeling when applied and is not suitable for use during an episode of shingles. Always make sure to wash your hands immediately after application.

For more post herpetic neuralgia treatment options, don’t hesitate to contact Spine Center of Texas.


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