Shingles Treatment And Pregnancy

Shingles is condition caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus (VZV); this is the same virus that is responsible for chickenpox. Shingles develops in people that have previously had chickenpox and is a result of the herpes varicella-zoster virus reactivating in the body (having remained dormant) normally due to a lower immune system. Shingles can affect anybody, although the majority of cases are in people over 50 with young adults and children rarely affected.

There is no cure for the virus but various methods of treatment are available to help ease pain and reduce severity. Shingles treatment and pregnancy is one area that is of concern to pregnant women and many like to know of the risks posed to an unborn baby as a result of treatment.

Symptoms of shingles

Shingles treatment and pregnancy is best tackled early and although pregnant women are at a low risk of developing shingles; early treatment can help to ease the symptoms.

The early risks of shingles show themselves in the form of pain before any rash has appeared. The pain will generally be dull and will affect either the left or right side of the body. The sufferer will feel a tingling sensation and oversensitivity in the affected area for several days before small red itchy spots appear.

As shingles becomes more developed, the red spots will turn to blisters containing a cloudy fluid. The blisters will begin to dry out and scab over after 1-2 weeks.

Seeking medical attention

Most medical experts agree that shingles present very little risk to an unborn child; however, it is wise to seek treatment for the virus as soon as the symptoms become apparent. No tests are needed to determine shingles are GP’s are able to quickly diagnose and administer treatment for the condition.

Shingles treatment methods

The methods for shingles treatment and pregnancy are for the most part the same as treatments for women who are not pregnant. The virus is one that is usually left to run its course and as pregnant women suffer from only mild symptoms; a GP will recommend the use of paracetamol tablets to ease pain and lotion such as calamine to sooth and reduce itchiness.

Self-help steps can be taken and GP’s will generally recommend that the rash is kept clean and dry to prevent any bacterial infection and that loose clothing is worn for comfort.

Antiviral medication is used to ease pain and prevent the virus from multiplying, in pregnancy this medication will only be used if the benefits significantly outweigh the risks. The risks of developing complications from shingles during pregnancy mean that this medication is generally not needed.

During the stages of shingles treatment and pregnancy it is important that you do not come in contact with any other pregnant women. Whereas shingles poses no danger to an unborn baby, it is possible to catch chickenpox from someone with shingles. Contracting chickenpox while pregnant can pose problems to unborn babies and women not immune to the VZV virus.




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