Shingles is a painful rash on one side of the face or body caused by the chickenpox virus. Pain after shingles, also called post-herpetic neuralgia, is the most common problem after having shingles.

Pain after shingles is a severe, burning pain that affects the nerves and skin in the areas where the shingles rash was. It happens because damaged nerves send confused pain messages from your skin to your brain. The pain usually goes away in a few weeks or months, but in some cases it can last years.

Symptoms of Pain after Shingles

Pain after shingles lasts at least 3 months after the shingles rash has healed. It’s usually only in the area where you had shingles. Common symptoms are:

  • Pain that’s burning, sharp and jabbing, or deep and aching
  • Sensitivity to touch (even clothes against the skin)
  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Itching and numbness