Chickenpox in adults

Chickenpox can still develop among adults. The condition is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and characterized by a rash of itchy reddened blisters on the neck, face, body, legs and arms.

Those who acquire the condition establish immunity. If an individual had the condition as a child, it is unlikely to develop one as an adult.

What are the indications?

The signs of chickenpox among adults strikingly resemble those in children, but more severe. The condition progresses via symptoms that start 1-3 weeks after being exposed to the virus such as:

  • Flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, body aches, appetite loss and headache. In most cases, these symptoms manifest a day or two before the rash surfaces.

    Reddened spots on the face and chest, later spreading over the entire body.

  • Reddened spots on the face and chest, later spreading over the entire body. They develop into itchy blisters filled with fluid.
  • Blisters that weep and turn into sores which later form crusts and heal. As some of the blisters form crusts, it is unlikely for additional red spots to form.

Among adults, the new chickenpox spots often cease to form on the 7th day. After 10-14 days, the blisters scab over. Once they have scabbed over, the individual is no longer communicable.

Management of chickenpox among adults

If an individual develops chickenpox, the doctor will manage the symptoms and allow the condition to run its course.

Some of the recommended options include:

  • Calamine lotion and colloidal oatmeal baths to lessen the itchiness
  • Fever-reducing drugs

In some cases, the doctor might prescribe acyclovir or valacyclovir to fight the virus and prevent any complications.


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