I. What is Shingles?
When you are pregnant, you may be worried about being around people who are sick that may affect you or your baby. Shingles and pregnancy is something you may be worried about.
About 1 in 3 people will experience shingles at some time in their life. Shingles or herpes zoster is still a disease that you should be aware of if you are expecting a baby although shingles more often attack older adults.
What is the association between shingles and pregnancy? Shingles or herpes zoster is a viral infection that causes a painful itchy rash during pregnancy. The virus that causes shingles is the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus is called VZV or varicella-zoster virus.
VZV remains dormant on your system even if you have chicken pox when you are young. The virus can cause shingles as they can become active again. Many people still do not understand why this happens.
II. I Am Pregnant And I Have Shingles. Will This Harm My Baby?
As being known before, shingles is the same virus that causes chickenpox. This disease is a re-activated form of the varicella-zoster virus. You may not get it again if you have had chickenpox before. However, the dormant virus can sometimes be reactivated in the form of shingles or herpes in pregnancy.
Do not worry about shingles and pregnancy, shingles or herpes zoster will not harm your baby if you suffer from herpes during pregnancy. Your unborn baby will be protected by your immunity to against this virus. Because of that, do not worry about shingles and pregnancy birth defects.
Shingles or herpes zoster appears as a painful rash of tiny blisters. This rash most often appears on the chest or stomach although this can actually happen anywhere on your body.
You may feel tingling or burning in the affected area skin and feel almost unwell before the rash develops. Although shingles are often called herpes zoster, it is different from genital herpes and pregnancy.
Shingles or herpes zoster is not transmitted from others. From the time you got chicken pox in the past, the virus already exists in your body. Although you cannot give anyone herpes zoster, you can spread the virus to people who do not have had it yet before, as well as chickenpox. Chickenpox can cause problems for unborn babies in pregnancy while shingles or herpes zoster is harmless.
Can you go near someone with shingles when pregnant? The answer is no. Vice versa, keep away from other pregnant women if you have herpes zoster or shingles. Wait until the lesions on your skin heal especially if the rash is on the part of your body that is not covered by the clothes.
If you feel you have the rash, contact your doctor immediately, especially if you have the rash on your face or head. Your doctor will definitely check if the disease does not affect your eyes.
There is no cure for shingles. There is a vaccine but it is mainly given to the elderly. And, if you are the pregnancy with herpes, you should not get this treatment. However, a treatment that may give you a little relief from your symptoms is with antiviral medications. If you take it as soon as the symptoms start, it will work best. To determine whether the benefits of antiviral medications outweigh the risks that may occur to your baby, your doctor will probably want to talk to a specialist.
III. What is The Treatment for Shingles in Pregnancy?
Treatment for shingles and pregnancy is generally over-the-counter or prescribed antihistamine, pain, or antiviral medication.
1. Antiviral Medication to Treat Shingles
Prescription antiviral medications which are used to treat shingles or herpes zoster are safe for consumption during pregnancy and herpes. These medications include famciclovir (Famvir), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and acyclovir (Zovirax). If treatment begins earlier that is within 72 hours after the appearance of the rash, antiviral medications can reduce the severity and duration of the rash.
2. Pain Medication to Treat Shingles
Acetaminophen which is a pain medication can also be used to relieve pain. However, this will not affect the development of rash and blisters. Painkillers should be discussed between pregnant women and their healthcare providers. Pregnant women should not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen in late pregnancy.
3. Antihistamine Medication to Treat Shingles
Antihistamine medications such as diphenhydramine can help reduce the itchy which is associated with shingles and pregnancy. Other home remedies for itchy include calamine lotion and oatmeal baths. Many women find that applying compresses or cool cloths gives relief too. Keeping the affected area covered with loose clothing and clean gauze can help prevent secondary infections of the affected skin and speed healing.
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That is a review of shingles and pregnancy. In addition to know the symptoms of shingles during pregnancy, know also cloudy urine pregnancy, is it dangerous during pregnancy or not? Also read the clear blue pregnancy test reviews to find out whether you are pregnant if you are expecting to have a baby.