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Diagnosed with monkeypox? 7 ways to protect your skin from scarring – Nebraska Medicine

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Published September 20, 2022

Published September 19, 2022
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If you’ve been diagnosed with monkeypox, you may be concerned about many things, including potential scars left behind. Here we will address a few common questions about the rash and what you can do to reduce scarring while healing.
The monkeypox rash may first appear as sores over the genitals, anus or mouth. Other bump-like spots can start appearing elsewhere on the body. A person may only notice a few sores or just one. 
At first, the sores may appear as tiny pus-filled bumps, but will grow larger with time. They can become firmer and may develop a divot or dot on the top. The pus inside may or may not be clear. The sores themselves go through four distinct stages before scabbing over. When the scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed, a person is no longer contagious.
The symptoms and spread vary from person to person, and the bumps may or may not cause symptoms. Some people describe the sores as itchy or uncommonly painful. If scratched or picked, the rash can spread to other areas. 
 
“Symptoms can start within three weeks of contact with monkeypox virus. Flu-like symptoms can be absent or happen before, or sometimes after, the rash appears,” says Jennifer Adams, MD, board-certified dermatologist. “Once the rash pops up, it’s usually two to four weeks until all spots heal up.”
Most monkeypox lesions will not leave a scar behind, but it is possible to have scarring and discoloration. Similar to chickenpox, many lesions may fade over time. But if lesions are picked at, scratched or otherwise messed with, they can leave different types of permanent scars behind.
Practicing good wound care is the best place to start. You can do several things to help minimize the risk of scarring during the healing process.
See one of our board-certified dermatologists for guidance if you’re concerned about scarring or looking for ways to treat scars after healing. There are treatment options that may help. To make an appointment, call 800.922.0000.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are now over 5,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox (orthopoxvirus) in the United States, and cases are growing globally.
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I am Zeba Anwer, a content writer who is still learning to make herself familiar with the world of technology. I am a writer by day and a reader by night who is still looking to make her footprint in the world of media.