It is known fact that chicken pox has affected a high percentage of individuals before they reach 15 years old. In most cases, the disease develops with the distinctive blistering of the skin, sense of malaise and a low grade fever. Nevertheless, adults who are affected by this disease are more likely to experience severe symptoms and face the risk of the complications such as eye, heart and kidney issues as well as pneumonia.
At the present, there are antiviral medications that can help reduce the severity and length of chicken pox as well as minimize the risk for the complications. Adults who have not had chicken pox before must observe proper skin hygiene and set an appointment with a doctor so that the appropriate antiviral drugs can be prescribed.
Getting in touch with a doctor
- Initially, the individual must contact a doctor and schedule an appointment.
- All the medications including their names and doses that are taken on a regular basis must be listed down as well as over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements. Women who are within the childbearing age must note the date of their last menstrual period and must be prepared to undergo a pregnancy test.
- Upon arrival at the clinic, the individual must keep the affected skin covered to prevent the transmission of infection to others.
- Discuss with the doctor about the symptoms and ask if antiviral medications will be prescribed.
- The medications that are prescribed must be taken as directed and complete the entire course even if the symptoms subside before the medications are finished.
- The individual must prepare a bath using tepid water.
- He/she must clean the unaffected skin using mild soap and rinse the skin with soapy water. Always remember that the lesions of chicken pox can easily rupture, thus touching or rubbing them will increase the risk for scarring.
- Once finished, rinse using fresh water.
- The unaffected areas must be dried using a clean towel by patting lightly. The individual must take a bathe at least once in a day.
- Always remember that baths are better than showers for those who have chicken pox since the soaking helps relieve the irritation in the skin. The fatigue caused by the disease can also make it difficult for the individual to stand up and breathe easily if a shower is used.
Important considerations to bear in mind
Immediately inform a doctor if the individual is pregnant. Take note that chicken pox during pregnancy can cause detrimental effects to the fetus.
The fingernails must be trimmed short since long ones can increase the risk for scarring as well as promote secondary bacterial infections on the affected skin. The individual must clip his/her nails at the start of the disease to minimize this risk.
There are topical astringents that can be used to help relieve the itchiness and swelling of the skin. A simple treatment option that can be done at home is to add two cups of plain oatmeal to bath water. Oral medications can be used for severe symptoms such as antihistamines. On the other hand, antihistamines can cause drowsiness, thus must not be taken by the individual if driving or engaged in activities that requires alertness. As for fever or pain, the first aid measure is to provide acetaminophen for relief.