Recommended Shingles Treatment for Pregnancy

Many people do not know that shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and that the herpes varicella-zoster virus is already in the body prior to shingles developing. Around 90% of people are exposed to chickenpox before the age of 16, after which the herpes varicella-zoster virus remains in a dormant state in the nerve tissue; shingles is caused when the virus reactivates, generally due to a weakening of the immune system.

Shingles can affect people of any age and can cause nerve pain and a severe rash; medication both prescription and natural is used to treat the virus of which there is no cure. Recommended shingles treatment for pregnancy is an often discussed subject and many parents-to-be are worried about the affects the virus and the medication will have on themselves and their unborn child.

Treatments for shingles during pregnancy

Developing shingles as a young pregnant adult is generally rare and those that do will suffer from the mildest of symptoms. There is also no risk of shingles hampering the pregnancy or affecting a new-born baby in any way.

As symptoms are mild, recommended shingles treatment for pregnancy is usually rest, mild painkillers, antiviral medication (rarely) and ointment to help ease the irritation and itchiness of the rash. A GP or doctor may also recommend certain foods that can help with recovery and in boosting the immune system.

To ease the symptoms of pain during shingles, over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol are all that is required. Paracetamol is suited to relieving mild to moderate pain and does so with no side effects, for this reason it is recommended over alternative painkilling medication such as ibuprofen which is not suited to pregnant women.

Treatments for shingles with antiviral medication

Antiviral medication is used to help ease the pain caused by shingles as-well as stopping the virus from multiplying; it is beneficial for reducing the severity of the virus and speeding up recovery. The use of this medication is generally not needed or recommended shingles treatment for pregnancy unless the benefits significantly outweigh the negatives. Antiviral drugs are usually reserved for more severe cases of the shingles virus as found in the over 50’s and those with a risk of complication as a result of the virus.

Ointments such as calamine lotion can be used alongside painkillers as a treatment for the shingles rash in pregnant women. The rash can be itchy and irritating as it develops from red spots into blisters and then into scabs. Calamine lotion is available from any pharmacy or supermarket and can be applied as required to soothe skin, ease symptoms and dry out blisters.

Rest is a commonly recommended shingles treatment for pregnancy and getting as much of it as possible will allow the body to carry out its natural work and fight off the infection. A regular intake of vitamins such as B-12 and C can also help in the recovery process and build up the immune system. Vitamin B-12 is commonly found in fish and breakfast cereals and vitamin C is in most fruits.  




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