Monday, 7 April 2014

Shingles in Pregnancy

Posted by Sara Zawawi at 16:46

Lets talk about Shingles!

Firstly, what is this Shingles? Something that mingle? They do  mingle alright, mingle with our skin!
Why do I want to share about Shingles in Pregnancy you say?Ahaaaa! It is because of my sister. She is pregnant and just had been diagnosed with Shingles. She is very worried about her baby and my Mom is also worried, so it is up to me to save the day! hahaha. I need to find some information about this Shingles. Thus, I come out with this post :)

Now let us begin!

Shingles is an infection that comes from the virus Varicella-Zoster virus. The same virus as chicken-pox! When we were little, most of us will get chicken-pox, after the chicken-pox had resolved, the virus causing it will stay dormant in our body (which is in the nerve cells) and it can be reactivated again if a person has a low immune system which can be caused by few Risk Factors such as :

  • Having any illnesses
  • Taking immunosuppressive drugs
  • Severe stress
  • Aging-related changes

Picture of Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
How Shingles Looks Like

The Sign & Symptoms of Shingles :-
  • Itchiness 
  • Pain (burning or shooting pain)
  • Rash which later become reddish bumps, after few days it become fluid-filled blisters and then they will crust over and fall-off after 7-10 days
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty Urinating
How Shingles is Diagnosed?

Shingles is diagnosed by clinical diagnosis. This means that the doctor will be able to diagnose that you have Shingles by examining your rash because Shingles rash is characteristics. However, specific laboratory investigations can be done to detect the varicella-zoster antigens if the case is atypical or difficult.

Treatment of Shingles 

Antiviral Drugs will be given by your doctor to lessen the severity of Shingles. Examples of antiviral drugs are :-
  • Acyclovir
  • Famciclovir
  • Valacyclovir
There are also some over-the-counter drugs that can be used such as :- 
  • painkiller Acetaminophen. (Talk to your doctor before taking)
  • Anti-Histamines
  • Calamine lotion to reduce itchiness
  • Pregnant Woman Should NOT take NSAIDs late in pregnancy
Some self-help measures can also be used to help reduce the pain and itchiness such as :-
  • Cold compresses and cold baths to relieve blisters
  • Loose clothing and clean gauze to cover affected areas. This will help to fasten the healing process and prevent infection

The thing that you must bear in mind is Shingles is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS! Same as Chicken-pox! So do yourself and your family and friends and the community a favor by staying inside the house. If not other people might be infected :'(

Having Shingles during pregnancy can cause some problems to the baby. However, most experts agrees that the risk is less than if you have chicken-pox. In one large study, there was no evidence of fetal harm in pregnant woman who developed Shingles. That is a Good News right? :D

If you want more information regarding Shingles in Pregnancy you can go to the sites below. This is where I got my information from. I just tried to make it simpler. Hope you enjoy reading it :)

References :-


Ili Nadia on 8 April 2014 at 16:12 said...

thank afi for the info

Sara Zawawi on 8 April 2014 at 16:38 said...

Welcome kak ili :D

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