Q. Does numbness, burning and tingling sensation on face mean trigeminal neuralgia?

Answered by
Dr. Aida Quka
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 05, 2018 and last reviewed on: May 22, 2019

Hello doctor,

Three and a half months ago I started with numbness, burning and tingling on the left side of my face. I had been very sick with a chest cold. One week later I had blisters on my upper left palate, I went to the doctor and she said definitely shingles. Now l never had any pain or sensation really in my mouth or on my palate. The blisters did run liner towards the back it was not like a typical cold sore cluster. Now I do get cold sores once in a blue moon on my right side lingual gum and palate. I am still having numbness and tingling. So now my doctor thinks it may be trigeminal neuralgia and never was shingles. I am a healthy active 39-year-old woman. I am looking for a second opinion.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

You should know that trigeminal neuralgia is a common complication of shingles or herpes infection. As blisters appeared the first time, it means that the herpes infection was present (probably HSV1 (herpes simplex virus, which is typical in this region). It is quite common to have symptoms before the blisters appear.

The fact that the numbness persists, it means that the trigeminal nerve remains irritated by this past infection, causing the trigeminal neuralgia, although less typical (trigeminal neuralgia is typically associated to short periods of shooting nerve pain, alternated with persistent numbness in the same region). Anyway, I would recommend performing IgG and IgM for HSV1 virus and also a brain MRI study.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

Thank you doctor,

Do you think that at my age if it is caused by shingles it will eventually resolve itself?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern and would explain that there are no guarantees about this. There are good chances that it will resolve (the nerve will regenerate). But, I would recommend performing the above-mentioned tests, just to be sure that everything is fine and there is no need for antiviral therapy.

If shooting pain starts, anti-epilepsy therapy may be needed. For the moment, I would just recommend trying a multivitamin.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

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