Chicken Pox- Dr. Acky Friedman

Why and How?
This viral disease shows up in childhood and is characterized by a unique rash. The injuries may leave scars and marks. Sometimes, it will be followed by fever and feeling physically unwell. People usually overcome the disease within a week; however, for those who weren’t vaccinated and who did not experience this sickness in childhood, the disease may show up in adulthood when it is much harsher and may be followed by pneumonia, brain inflammation, and elbow or sometimes testicular inflammation.

What is Herpes Zoster?
Herpes Zoster appears among people who had chickenpox in the past. This is usually a once in a lifetime condition that is characterized by a blistery rash that is sometimes followed by deep pain that traces one nerve throughout its anatomic distribution. The skin conditions may heal after 6 weeks; however, the pain (if it exists) may remain for 6 months and may require the use of painkillers for a long time.

Treatments?
The most common treatment is aimed at the irritation that follows the condition and the skin infections that develop from scratching. A good reason to take care of this condition is to prevent scarring from the associated itching. A treatment of anti-viral medication is effective but the treatment must begin at the onset of the disease’s symptomatic appearance. There is a debate regarding the vaccination: some say there is a need to infect the child deliberately so that he or she will get the disease over with. Some tend to vaccine and insist on doing so early on. In both cases, it is a similar process where the immune system is exposed to the virus and develops antibodies against it.

What are the risks of catching chicken pox?
Exposure in childhood is common and is a particular risk for those who were never vaccinated or were never sick with this disease before. In most cases, those who catch the disease are children and babies. In the few cases where a pregnant woman is sick near delivery date, there is a need to consider treating the child with Immunoglobulin.

In conclusion: this is a viral disease that may leave scars. There are treatments and they should begin as close to onset as possible, preferably in the first two days. Chickenpox in adulthood should be treated while following up for possible complications. Herpes Zoster, which usually shows up once in a lifetime among those who had chickenpox, typically requires the use of painkillers.

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