Your health care provider may prescribe a medicine that fights the virus, called an antiviral drug. This drug helps reduce pain, prevent complications, and shorten the course of the disease.
The medicines should be started within 72 hours of when you first feel pain or burning. It is best to start taking them before the blisters appear. The medicines are usually given in pill form. Some people may need to receive the medicine through a vein (by IV).
Strong anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may be used to reduce swelling and pain. These medicines do not work in all patients.
Other medicines may include:
- Antihistamines to reduce itching (taken by mouth or applied to the skin)
- Pain medicines
- Zostrix, a cream containing capsaicin (an extract of pepper) to reduce pain
Follow your health care provider's instructions about how to care for yourself at home.
Other measures may include:
- Caring for your skin by applying cool, wet compresses to reduce pain, and taking soothing baths
- Resting in bed until the fever goes down
Stay away from people while your sores are oozing to avoid infecting those who have never had chickenpox -- especially pregnant women.