Skip to content

Shingles Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Shingles - When To Call a Doctor

If you think you have shingles, see a doctor as soon as possible. Early treatment with antiviral medicines may help reduce pain and prevent complications of shingles, such as disseminated zoster or postherpetic neuralgia.

If you still feel intense pain for more than 1 month after the skin heals, see your doctor to find out whether you have postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Getting your pain under control right away may prevent nerve damage that may cause pain that lasts for months or years.

Recommended Related to Shingles

Shingles: Are You Risking Nerve Pain?

Shingles, a viral infection of the nerve roots, affects 1 million people in the U.S each year. Most people recover from their bout, but for as many as 50% of those over age 60 who have not been treated, the pain doesn't go away. It can last for months, years, or even the rest of their lives. These people have what's called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the result of the shingles virus damaging the nerves of the skin. In some cases, the pain is mild. In others, even the slightest touch -- from...

Read the Shingles: Are You Risking Nerve Pain? article > >

Who to see

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

varicella zoster virus
How to recognize this painful rash.
shingles rash
Symptoms, causes, and treatment.
 
nurse administering flu vaccine
8 questions, answered.
senior woman
Are you more likely to get it?
 
shingles rash
Slideshow
woman holding her lower back
Article
 
New PHN Drug Cuts Lingering Shingles Pain
Article
mature man with serious expression
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections