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By the way, doctor: Could postherpetic neuralgia affect my face if I didn't have a rash there?

January 01, 2007

Q. I'm having pains on the side of my face, and my doctor says that it's postherpetic neuralgia. But I am puzzled because I had a rash on the inside of my arm, but not on my face. Should I be?

A. Postherpetic neuralgia is a painful condition that follows an outbreak of shingles. The medical term for shingles is herpes zoster because the condition is usually caused by a herpes virus. Postherpetic refers to "after herpes," and neuralgia is pain that extends along the course of a nerve.

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