Patient Comments: Chickenpox - Adult Experience

Question:Please describe your experience with being infected with chickenpox as an adult.

Comment from: Jenn Jett, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I teach English in Japan and didn't have the chickenpox as a child. For two days I had a really bad sinus headache (which I often get) along with feeling generally unwell. On the third day I woke up with itchy spots all over my body; at first I thought they were mosquito bites but pretty soon suspected that it was the chickenpox. I went to the doctor, but the interpreter I was with failed to tell them my concern about chickenpox, as she dismissed it as a child's disease, so the doctor didn't even bother to look at my spots. The doctor said I had a virus and sent me home, much to my frustration as I suspected it was the pox and was worried about infecting people. Luckily I spoke to another Japanese person who had had the pox as an adult, they took one look at me and rushed me to a different doctor, who this time looked at my spots and confirmed it was the pox. They gave me a drug called Valtrex which really helped me and stopped further blisters from forming, so I was saved from the worst of it which I have heard can be quite brutal for some adults. I had to take a week off work and felt generally fluey and unwell during this time, but it would have been a lot worse without the Valtrex medication. I have no idea where I got it from as I don't work with young children, but I guess you can get it from anywhere, even public toilet seats are a possibility if the person sitting before you had blisters on their thighs. If you're an adult with the pox, definitely ask your doctor about an anti-viral drug like Valtrex as it reduced the symptoms for me a lot.

Comment from: Moradi, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 21

I am a 5th year medical student. Seventeen days ago, when I was in the pediatric clinic, there was a boy who was standing beside me and I had not noticed him; he had varicella infection. Three days ago I had mild fever, mild myalgia, headache, and nausea (a bit). I didn't know what happened, I used 2 pills of ibuprofen for my headache, and I hadn't any clinical sign of rhinovirus infections. And yesterday I noticed an erythema on my leg which was somehow excoriated. And last night, when I was sleeping, I remembered the boy with chicken pox. The rashes are growing now.

Comment from: ozhelen, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 14

My husband is 53 and contracted chicken pox 8 days ago. He also had them as a kid when he was 9. Fortunately for me, I was not in contact with him for the 14 day incubation period as I was in my own quarantine after getting pleurisy. So I was downstairs and he upstairs. So day 8, the spots which there are thousands of, have turned a darkish color, and some have faded. He hasn't slept for 3 nights due to swelling in his hands, elbow, and shoulder. He cannot even hold a glass. As most have said, swallowing is difficult, especially if he has something hot which is out of the question. I have bought him ice blocks to hydrate him and he is managing to eat something. Now I am waiting for the home doctor to arrive to see what this pain is in his hands, arms shoulders. I haven't had chicken pox so I am really, really practicing infectious control. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Comment from: alfred, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 18

Sunday night I got fever, Monday I saw a few small red rashes. Tuesday, the rash increased, so Wednesday I went to the doctor and confirmed that it is chicken pox and I was given acyclovir. Rashes appeared everywhere and multiplied very fast and it went full blown blisters by night. I got a lot in the body and face (looks hideous). For these days, I had to control my fever by taking paracetamol. Thursday night all the rashes had maximized. Now it is my 5th day and it is Friday, I think it has stopped from spreading. Some started to dry up. My throat also hurts, difficult to swallow even liquids, but have to endure since I need to drink and eat. Also I was advised to bathe with boiled guava leaves in water which I think is also effective in healing. It was also advised to me by my doctor. Guava Leaves are used in herbal medicine as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antioxidant and they are good for drying and cleaning up wounds.

Comment from: Cant Stop Scratching, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 18

I'm 39. Today is my 5th day with chicken pox. On the first day, it felt like 2 insect bites on my right shoulder. The next day, I started developing fever and got a few more red dots on my abdomen and left thigh. I went to see the doctor but was told to wait another day to confirm! On the 3rd day more red dots popped up on my abdomen, neck, and back; not good so I went to another doctor and was prescribed acyclovir. Fever was terrible but there was no itch. Oh my, on the 4th day the red dots erupted everywhere on my body and I started getting this bad sore throat. The worst was the scalp (at least 20 big ones). There were probably several hundred if not thousands all over my body. One huge gigantic one on my eyebrow. So today the 5th day is the day the itch started. Unbearable, starting from the scalp, neck to the back. The fever is gone but replaced with a blistering headache. I can't wait to get to the 14th day!

Comment from: K, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 25

I am a 48 year old male. My wife had shingles and within 14 days I developed flu-like symptoms, i.e. fever, shivering, body ache, fatigue, and sore throat. Within 48 hours, a red blister appeared on my torso which was obviously chickenpox. I went to the immediate care center and obtained prescription for acyclovir. The blisters continued to spread on days 4 and 5 (scalp, face, torso, arms and legs). The worst area is around my forehead, chin and lower cheeks. On day 5, the itching was intense. Now, on day 6, no new blisters, and they are all scabbing. Crossing my fingers that the medication shortened the breakout which it appears to have done. Wish I had taken chickenpox vaccine since I never had chickenpox as a child. They are no fun but it could have been worse.

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Chickenpox (Varicella) - Side Effects Question: Did your child experience any side effects from the chickenpox vaccine?
Chickenpox - symptoms Question: How did you first notice you or your child was infected with chickenpox?
Chickenpox - Treatment Question: What did your doctor recommend to treat chickenpox?
Chickenpox - complications Question: Did you or your child experience complications from chickenpox? What happened?
Chickenpox - prevention Question: Were you or your child vaccinated against chickenpox? Why or why not did you decide to get the vaccine?

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