Dealing With Chickenpox As An Adult

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Chickenpox is no fun at any age, but it's more difficult the older you are when you get it. If you've never had chickenpox and haven't had the vaccine to prevent you from catching it, you could be at risk of catching and developing this virus. Read on to learn why you're at more of a risk than you might think and to discover its symptoms and treatment.

Why You're Susceptible

If you don't have or work around children often, you might think you're at no risk of getting chickenpox. Unfortunately, this simply isn't true. You can easily come into contact with the virus that causes chickenpox if you touch any surface that an infected person has recently before you. In addition, it's actually possible for people who haven't had chickenpox to catch it if they're exposed to someone who breaks out in shingles. Shingles is the later form that the chickenpox virus can take on in older people, causing a painful rash over various parts of the body. However, it may not be plain to see from the outside, so you could work with or know someone who gets shingles outbreaks on a regular basis that's putting you at risk of getting chickenpox.


Everyone knows that chickenpox causes painful, itchy bumps and welts to develop all over the body. However, those aren't the only symptoms, and recognizing the symptoms early on can help you to seek treatment earlier.

In addition to the bumps, chickenpox can cause exhaustion or a general feeling of malaise, as well as a noticeable fever and chills or hot flashes alongside it. However, unlike most viral infections people can pick up, there is no coughing or sneezing associated with chickenpox. In addition, the bumps may start out gradually, appearing like nothing more than a sudden outburst of pimples.


Treating chickenpox traditionally means lots of bed rest, fluids, and recovery time. However, your doctor may be able to help you if you see them quickly. Anti-viral medications can help to speed up your immune system's response to the virus, defeating it more quickly than if you went at it with no support.

Your doctor may also have recommendations for ointments to help keep the itching and inflammation down on your chickenpox. For example, hydrocortisone cream can be useful in reducing itching and swelling.

Getting chickenpox later in life is a lot harder than getting it as a child, if only because of how long it takes to recover from it and how that interrupts your work. If you haven't had chickenpox, consider getting vaccinated to prevent being infected in the future. Contact a family practice to learn more.