Adult chickenpox: symptoms, possible complications, and treatment

When an adult has chickenpox, it tends to develop the most severe form of the disease, with a greater amount of blisters than normal, in addition to symptoms such as high fever, earache and sore throat.

Generally, the symptoms are more intense in adults than in children, and can leave the person unable to study or work, having to stay at home to recover faster.

The transmission should be avoided, preventing contact with other people, especially those who have not yet had the disease or who have not been vaccinated. See how to prevent the transmission of chickenpox.

What are the symptoms in adults

The symptoms of chicken pox are the same as in adults, but with greater intensity, such as fever, tiredness, headache, loss of appetite, appearance of pellets throughout the body and intense itching.

Possible complications

Complications of chickenpox can arise when treatment is done improperly or when the individual’s body cannot overcome the virus on its own, as it is very weak. In some cases, it may occur:

  • Infections in other parts of the body, with risk of sepsis;
  • Dehydration;
  • Encephalitis;
  • Ataxia cerebelar;
  • Myocarditis;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Transient arthritis.

These complications are suspected if the individual begins to show symptoms such as severe headache, the fever does not go down and other symptoms appear. In the presence of these symptoms, the person must immediately go to the hospital.

How is the treatment of chickenpox in adults

The treatment consists of the use of antiallergic drugs, to relieve the symptoms of itchy skin blisters and remedies to lower the fever, such as paracetamol or dipyrone.

It is also important to take precautions such as avoiding scratching the blisters on the skin with your nails, so as not to cause sores on the skin or cause an infection, drink plenty of fluids during the day and bathe with potassium permanganate to dry the blisters more quickly.

In addition, in people with weakened immune systems, as in the case of HIV or who are undergoing treatment with chemotherapy, the doctor may indicate the use of an antiviral, such as acyclovir in the first 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.

Is it possible to catch chicken pox 2 times?

It is possible to catch chicken pox twice, however, it is a rare situation that happens mainly when there is a weakening of the immune system or when chicken pox was misdiagnosed the first time.

Typically, the patient with chicken pox develops antibodies against the chicken pox virus after infection, so it is rare to get chicken pox more than once. However, the chicken pox virus is dormant in the body and can be reactivated, causing symptoms of herpes zoster, which is the reactivation of the chicken pox virus, but in another way. 

Can I get chickenpox even vaccinated?

Chickenpox can infect a vaccinated individual, since the vaccine does not completely protect against the virus, however, these situations are rare and the symptoms are milder, disappearing in less time. Typically, those who get the chicken pox vaccine have fewer wounds scattered throughout the body, and recovery takes less than 1 week.

Learn more about  chicken pox vaccine .

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