Can You Swim With Shingles? The Risks & Benefits Explained

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By John A

Are you looking for a way to enjoy the water but worried about catching shingles? Maybe you’ve heard conflicting advice on whether it’s safe to swim with shingles – some people may say yes and others no. In this article, we will explore the facts and research around swimming with shingles so that you can make an informed decision that works best for your health.

Quick Answer

No, it is not recommended to swim with shingles as the virus can be spread through contact with water.

Can You Swim With Shingles?

Swimming with shingles can be a tricky proposition, as the condition is highly contagious and may cause pain or discomfort. Swimming in public pools carries an especially high risk of spreading the virus to others. The herpes zoster virus that causes shingles does not survive well in water, but it can still be transferred from person-to-person through contact or aerosolization of droplets. This means that swimming with shingles should only be done if you are certain that there will not be anyone else present who could contract it from you.

When considering whether to swim while dealing with shingles, several factors must be taken into account. Firstly, how long have you had the infection? If it has been less than two weeks since your initial outbreak then swimming is probably best avoided due to increased risk of spreading the virus to others during this period. Secondly, what type of pool are you planning on using? Many public pools require people who have visible signs of skin infections such as shingles to refrain from entering for a specified period after their last episode – typically around one month minimum – so check local regulations before attempting any aquatic activities!

Finally, and most importantly: how do you feel? Swimming itself won’t cause further damage or spread of the infection due to its low survival rate in water; however if blisters or open sores are present on your body then this increases chances for transmission so exercise caution when deciding whether swimming is right for you personally at this time. Another important consideration is comfort level: some individuals living with shingles experience heightened nerve pain due to activity levels which may make extended periods underwater difficult even without other considerations; listen carefully to your body before entering any pool environment!

Swimming Precautions for Those with Shingles

Shingles is an incredibly painful and uncomfortable condition that can be quite challenging to manage, especially when considering how to maintain active lifestyles. For those who are avid swimmers or want to remain physically active during their shingles breakout, it’s important to understand the necessary precautions needed for swimming safely.

Before getting in a pool or any other body of water with shingles, it’s essential that a person cover their outbreak completely with clothing or waterproof bandages. This will help ensure they don’t spread the virus while swimming, as well as prevent further irritation from the chlorine found in most public pools. It’s also beneficial for individuals dealing with a shingles outbreak to take breaks at regular intervals and stay close to shallow areas if possible so they can rest against the wall instead of struggling through full laps continuously if feeling exhausted or overwhelmed by pain sensations. Additionally, it’s always wise for those suffering from shingles not swim alone but rather with someone who understands the situation and can monitor whether symptoms seem to be worsening after activity.

While heat has been known anecdotally to provide some comfort because of its ability reduce nerve pain associated with shingles outbreaks, it’s important emphasize how crucial cooling down is afterwards since overheating could potentially exacerbate episodes of dizziness and weakness due too physical exertion combined with infection-induced fatigue – which means avoiding overly hot tubs or saunas following swim sessions altogether should still be top priority even if tempting on cold days! In any case though proper hydration should never be neglected no matter what level of physical activity being indulged in while suffering from this condition due its importance more generally and just like everyone else – regardless of health status – drinking plenty of fluids before during and after exercise is key- even when taking short breaks throughout longer swim sessions!

Post Swimming Skin Care for Those with Shingles

For those living with shingles, the delicate skin that results from a breakout can make swimming a difficult activity. Immersing yourself in water is actually beneficial for most types of skin ailments, but extra precautions need to be taken when it comes to dealing with shingles-affected skin. After you have enjoyed your time in the pool, these post-swimming tips will help keep your sensitive rash under control:

The first step should always be rinsing off thoroughly after your swim. The chlorine and chemical additives used to maintain a clean pool can aggravate an existing rash and delay healing so taking quick action after swimming is essential. Use warm water – not hot – and then pat dry with a soft towel; vigorous rubbing or scrubbing should be avoided as they may irritate the area more and further inflame lesions.

Next, use ointments or creams specifically designed for treating shingle outbreaks like calamine lotion or zinc oxide cream over affected areas of your body to help speed up recovery time as well as provide pain relief. Make sure every application includes plenty of moisturizer on top, preferably something containing aloe vera which helps reduce inflammation whilst hydrating newly exposed skin cells caused by blisters rupturing during swimming activities.

Finally, remain mindful about any changes in appearance on the affected site(s). Blister formations may increase due to friction caused by wet clothes sticking against them upon drying out of water — high waisted pants are an ideal option here! If you notice any worsening symptoms than normal such as increased redness/bumps/itching etc., consult a dermatologist immediately who’ll advise appropriate treatments depending on severity level of individual cases.