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Chickenpox in adults: symptoms and treatment, photo

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Traditionally, chickenpox is considered a childhood illness that occurs relatively easily and has a favorable prognosis in almost 100% of cases. Immunity to this disease is formed lifelong, which protects a person from re-infection in adulthood, when the disease is characterized by the development of a severe clinical picture.

The causative agent of chickenpox is a herpes virus type III or as it is also called Varicella Zoster. This virus is 100% contagious - that is, upon contact with a sick child, everyone who is present will get sick, except for those who have already had this disease.

The virus can cause not only chickenpox, but also another disease with an extremely unpleasant course - shingles . This can occur when there is a long, asymptomatic carrier state of Varicella Zoster. It is never possible to predict whether a person is a carrier of a virus or not, because the latter may or may not remain in the nerve ganglia throughout the patient’s life. For the development of herpes zoster, it is sufficient to reduce immunity, which occurs after severe illness or in preparation for organ transplantation, as well as other systemic lesions. Shingles can also develop in a person who first encounters a virus, if at the time of infection the immunity is significantly weakened. Otherwise, the adult will experience the classic symptoms of chickenpox.



How do you get chickenpox?

In order to get chickenpox, sometimes it is enough just to be in a room where a sick person was present some time ago. The virus is so small and light that it can be transported by air over long distances. That is why the disease and got the name of chicken pox. The only fact that can restrain the rapid spread of infection is that the pathogen, once outside the body, dies in about 10 minutes.

The patient begins to excrete the pathogen into the environment several days before the visual debut of chickenpox, that is, it is impossible to completely exclude the possibility of infection if the person does not have immunity to the varicella-zoster virus or is not vaccinated.

In the event that in a children's team one child has become ill with chickenpox, then quarantine is announced in the whole group or class.

Chickenpox in adults: symptoms

The clinical symptoms of the disease are specific enough for different periods.

Chickenpox incubation period in adults

This period of time is characterized by the absence of any symptoms and lasts from the moment of infection until the first signs of intoxication. The classic development of the clinical picture suggests that the incubation period lasts about 2 weeks, however, the older a person becomes, the more time passes from infection to the first symptoms. In an adult, it is considered normal if the temperature rises three weeks after contact with an infected person.

Prodromal period

The prodromal period is characterized by the development of the following symptoms:

  • Fever, fever, chills;
  • Nausea, vomiting, aching joints and other signs of general intoxication of the body;
  • Headache.

The temperature can rise to high individual indices, and the patient’s general condition is characterized as more severe in comparison with how the chickenpox was diagnosed in a child. Already at this time, the patient becomes infectious for persons who are not immune to the Varicella Zoster virus.

Stage of rashes

Chickenpox in adult photos A characteristic rash appears abruptly, 2-3 days after the debut of the disease, starting with the abdomen and thighs, rising to the chest, shoulders and head. Red spots are quickly transformed into fluid bubbles (papules), which form vesicles when they break through. The whole process takes 3 to 5 days. Thus, in the midst of the disease on the body, you can simultaneously see all the clinical manifestations of the rash. Rashes in no case can not comb, squeeze out, and generally touch them with your hands. Otherwise, an infection can get into the wounds and the healing process will be delayed. In addition, visible traces will remain at the site of infected papules.

With the appearance of lesions, the body temperature not only does not fall, but can, on the contrary, rise. Often in the first days of rash, there is an increase in symptoms of intoxication. In parallel, the patient's condition worsens, as itching begins to disturb him, which can be partially removed by taking antihistamines.

Stage drying crusts

Photo of windmill in adults At this stage, the patient ceases to be contagious, and numerous vesicles become covered with crusts and dry up. For the complete disappearance of lesions, it takes about two weeks.

In addition to skin, the virus can also affect mucous membranes. Sores appear in the mouth, on the cheeks and larynx. Often characteristic bubbles can be seen on the surface of the genitals in both women and men.

Complications of chickenpox in adults

In adults, chickenpox can occur with the following complications:

  • The bullous form is characteristic of debilitated patients with severe chronic diseases. In this case, long-lasting non-healing ulcers form at the site of rash, which are transformed into pockmarks. The latter can remain on the body for a lifetime and are subject to correction only through the use of aesthetic medicine procedures, for example, laser polishing.
  • Hemorrhagic form - develops with the defeat of the vascular wall. In this case papules with bloody contents are formed.
  • Gangrenous form - characterized by the development of rash with necrotic areas. After the vesicles dry out, deep ulcers remain.

Also, chickenpox in adults can be complicated:

  • Pneumonia - often occurs in pregnant women, as well as in patients with impaired immunity.
  • Partial loss of vision - if the rash affects the upper and lower eyelids, the virus can easily get on the white of the eye. In this case, after the stage of drying, small scars can form, which cause the deterioration of vision.
  • Arthritis - pain in the joints of an inflammatory nature, which in most cases pass after the end of the prodromal period.
  • Neuritis of the optic nerve, which can cause loss of vision.
  • Meningitis or encephalitis - both diseases are characterized by brain damage and are extremely dangerous. They begin with a sharp increase in symptoms - nausea, vomiting, impaired motor coordination and loss of consciousness.
  • Laryngitis or tracheitis - cough or sore throat are a sign of heavy eruptions on the respiratory tract mucosa.
  • Stomatitis - when the rash is localized on the gums and the inside of the cheek.
  • Vulvitis and inflammation of the foreskin in men.

Diagnosis of chickenpox

Diagnosis of chickenpox presents no particular difficulty in the presence of characteristic rashes. If chicken pox is diagnosed, then all those who have been in contact with the patient are closed for quarantine. The duration of the restriction is 21 days. As a result of high contagiousness in quarantine, entire departments of polyclinics and hospitals, as well as classes in schools and groups in kindergartens, can close.

The patient may be recommended to donate blood for the presence of antibodies to the virus Varicella Zoster, the ratio of which can be inferred about the stage of the disease.

Chickenpox treatment

Treatment of chickenpox in adults Specific drugs that would fight the pathogen, has not yet been found. Therapy comes down to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. The following groups of drugs are used for this:

  • Anti-inflammatory and antipyretic, if the patient is difficult to tolerate high temperature. Paracetamol or ibuprofen preparations are usually prescribed.
  • Antihistamines to reduce itching and relieve allergic reactions, since in adult patients there is a more pronounced immune response, which greatly aggravates the course of the disease. It must be remembered that some allergy drugs have a pronounced hypnotic effect, for example, suprastin.
  • Antiviral drugs and interferons can be prescribed for both systemic and topical use.
  • Antibiotics are prescribed if doctors diagnose the accession of a secondary infection, for example, infection of pustules.
  • Antiseptics. This class is represented by a wide variety of drugs from, all familiar, brilliant green to mouthwash, if the rash struck the gum mucosa.

When treating a rash, it is very important not to use the same wand with a cotton swab for different types of bubbles. Otherwise, it is likely to infect still non-infected skin.

During chickenpox you need to adhere to a hypoallergenic diet, since the body is already over-sensitized and additional immune responses can only aggravate the patient's condition.

Particular attention should be paid to personal hygiene. Bed linen and body clothing should be kept clean and changed regularly. Contrary to the common misconception during the illness, you can take a cool shower, which will relieve the unpleasant symptoms of itching, however, you can not rub it with a hard washcloth during the procedure. After the bath, you can only slightly blot the body with a soft towel.

Prevention of chickenpox

People usually get sick with chickenpox in early childhood, as the pathogen is extremely easy to transmit from person to person. However, some people reach a mature age, and not having immunity to the virus Varicella Zoster.

In order not to get sick, it is recommended to undergo a special vaccination, after which a lifelong immunity is developed, as if the patient had suffered from chickenpox. It is possible to take root even if there was a contact with the patient and no more than 72 hours passed from his moment.

Chickenpox during pregnancy

If a woman has no immunity to the chickenpox pathogen at the time of deliberate pregnancy planning, then she will be advised to undergo appropriate vaccination. Infection during pregnancy is dangerous for the fetus until about 20 weeks. At this time, the virus causes fetal death, resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth. It is also possible the development of severe defects that entail the disability of the child born.

In later periods, the effect of the virus on both the mother and the fetus is weakened, reaching a second peak just before birth. Late chickenpox infection is fraught with the development of pneumonia, which can also lead to the death of a child. In such cases, special therapy is carried out with immunoglobulins and specific antibodies.

Lack of immunity to chickenpox in general is not an indication for abortion.


| 24 June 2015 | | 3,219 | Infectious diseases
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