How To Treat A Zika Rash


Thousands of people around the world are suspected of having contracted Zika, and many more are expected to catch the virus this summer. Zika, which is transmitted through mosquitos and sexual intercourse, is most worrisome to women who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. The virus has been shown to cause microcephaly in fetuses, a condition where babies heads are born abnormally small. For most people, however, Zika's symptoms are fairly mild. Here's how to treat a Zika Rash.

Along with a full body rash, Zika symptoms include red and itchy eyes, joint and muscle pain and fatigue. But symptoms only manifest in twenty percent of people, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

While a Zika infection is extremely concerning for pregnant women, its symptoms are manageable for most people. They tend to show up two to seven days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, are usually mild and can be treated.

If you happen to be one of the unlucky people to develop the Zika rash, don't panic, you're not alone. About 90 percent of people who report Zika symptoms experience an itchy, raised rash. These rashes usually start in the face and then spread to the rest of the body.

Here's how you should treat a Zika rash:

1. Call Your Doctor

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JANUARY 26: Dr. Angela Rocha (L), pediatric infectologist at Oswaldo Cruz Hospital, speaks to Ivalda Caetano (R), grandmother of Ludmilla Hadassa Dias de Vasconcelos (2 months), C, who has microcephaly, on January 26, 2016 in Recife, Brazil. In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants. The ailment results in an abnormally small head in newborns and is associated with various disorders including decreased brain development. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus outbreak is likely to spread throughout nearly all the Americas. At least twelve cases in the United States have now been confirmed by the CDC. Brazil reported the first cases in the Americas of local transmissions of the virus last year. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Immediately call your healthcare provider if you feel that you're showing symptoms of Zika. The virus can be detected through a blood or urine test, and new testing methods are being developed every day. Your doctor will know the best way to determine whether your rash is Zika-related and can help manage any other symptoms.

2. Treat Yourself

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 14: Tylenol tablets, which contain acetaminophen, are shown on April 14, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. New research has shown that acetaminophen, which is found in many over-the-counter painkillers, can dull feelings of pleasure. Previous research found that the medication had a similar effect with feelings of dread. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The CDC suggests that anyone diagnosed with Zika get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluid and take tylenol to reduce pain. Steer clear of aspirin and other blood thinners, however. Rest assured that these rashes are self-resolving, and will be gone in a few days.

3. Protect Others

Various brands of repellent are seen in a pharmacy in Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 21, 2016. In the last three months, product prices in some pharmacies rose up to 62% due to outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and zika virus, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. AFP PHOTO/Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP / Miguel Schincariol (Photo credit should read MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images)MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images

Once infected with Zika, patients can spread the virus to others. The CDC recommends that anyone diagnosed with Zika do everything possible to avoid further mosquito bites, in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Zika patients should also steer clear of donating blood and having unprotected sexual intercourse, which can also spread the virus.

As Zika contaminates people around the world, all of us need to be on the lookout for its symptoms. Zika's signature red, itchy rash is uncomfortable, but everyone infected will be glad to know, it should only last a few days.