Chickenpox & Shingles

Chicken Pox

  • caused by a virus called varicella zoster

Symptoms

  • start like a cold

  • 1-2 days later rash appears ( pinkish dots that quickly develop a small blister on top)

  • amount of chicken pox blisters vary person to person

  • show up in waves

  • after about 24-48 hours the blisters begin to become cloudy and crust over

  • also may develop a stomachache and a fever

Spread

  • contagious

  • for the first 2-5 days

  • can pass by coughing and sneezing

These tips can help you feel less itchy:

  • Keep cool because heat and sweat will make you itch more. You might want to put a cool, wet washcloth on the really bad areas.

  • Trim your fingernails, so if you do scratch, you won't tear your skin.

  • Soak in a lukewarm bath. Adding some oatmeal to your bath water can help relieve the itching.

  • apply calamine lotion, which soothes itching.

Avoid the itch

  • chicken pox vaccine

  • often given at age 1

chicken_pox.jpgtypical case

severe_chickenpox.jpgsevere case

Shingles(herpes zoster)

  • painful,blistering skin rash

  • caused by the same virus as the chicken pox

Symptoms

  • rash (pain, itching, or tingling in the area 1-5 days before)

  • blisters over in 7-10 days

  • clears up within 2-4 weeks

  • fever

  • headache chills

  • upset stomach

Treatment

  • antiviral medicine (shortens the time period normally)

Expectations

  • usually clears in 2-3 weeks

  • rarely recurs

  • may have temporary weakness or paralysis (if virus got to the motor nerves)

Complications

  • postherpetic neuralgia (pain where the shingles used to be)

  • Another attack of shingles

  • Blindness (if shingles occurs in the eye)

  • Deafness

  • Infection, including encephalitis or sepsis (blood infection) in persons with weakened immune systems

  • Bacterial skin infections

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome if shingles affected the nerves in the face

Prevention

  • Avoid touching the rash and blisters of persons with shingles or chickenpox if you have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine


shingles.jpg typicalsevere_shingles.jpgsevere