Are monkeypox scars permanent

With the rapid spread of the monkeypox virus around the globe, it is rapidly becoming a big threat to the population, edging towards the next pandemic. Cases of monkeypox have recently been reported in India as well. Thus, attempts are being made by the government to screen out positive patients to combat the spread of the disease as early as possible. The viral monkeypox infection is not as deadly as the COVID-19 pandemic but is surely an issue of concern. Monkeypox has infected around 16,000 individuals in 75 countries. 

Monkeypox infection causes the development of skin rashes. The appearance of these skin rashes can be irritating and can affect your self-confidence as well. Thus, it is very important that you prevent these scars from leaving permanent marks on your skin. There are various medical treatments that can treat the rashes on your skin and also prevent the scar tissue from leaving marks.

So, in this article let us talk about the various methods by which you can treat these skin rashes and also prevent them from forming marks.

Are the scars of monkeypox infection permanent?

Monkeypox infection increases your chances of developing permanent scarring. Monkeypox results in the formation of keloid scars which are characterised by irregular, raised, and enlarged scars that are red or darker in colour. These scars are generally found on the shoulders, earlobes, chest, and cheeks. The healed lesions may lead to hyperpigmentation and keloid scarring. The good part is that keloid scars can be treated through various medical procedures, steroid injections, silicone-gel sheeting, and liquid nitrogen application as well. 

What are the treatment options for monkeypox infection?

There are various medical procedures that can improve your scarring. The best or most effective medical treatment for you depends on the type of your skin and the severity of the scars formed on your skin.
Here are different medical treatments that can help fade out your monkeypox scars.

  • Surgical scar revision

Surgical scar revision as the name suggests is a surgical method for the treatment of keloid scars. The surgery minimises your scars, making them less visible by blending it with the tone and texture of your surrounding skin. The efficiency of a scar revision surgery depends on the type of your scar, its size, and its location on your body. Scar revision uses a combination of topical and injectable treatments that can lighten up your scars. Topical treatments like tapes, gels, or external compressions can be used to help in healing wounds. The injectable treatment options are used for treating the concave scars that may be formed due to infection.

  • Laser scar reduction

Laser therapy is another medical non-invasive, non-surgical treatment that can help lighten your scars. The therapy uses a focused beam of light to damage the areas of your body where the scars are present. The damage stimulates the production of new collagen protein that fades the scars formed in that area. The laser scar removal treatment is not recommended for people who have light sensitivity, active acne, darker skin tone, and skin sores. 

  • Micro-dermabrasion

It is a minimally invasive scar treatment procedure that renews your overall skin tone and texture as well. A special applicator is used in this procedure to remove the thick outer layer of the skin giving you a rejuvenated look by exposing your younger and healthier inner skin. 

  • Intralesional injections

Intralesional steroid injections are one of the standard treatments available for keloid scars. Intralesional injections are therapeutic substances that are directly inserted into the lesions of your skin. A high concentration medicine is delivered to the intralesional site to maximise the efficiency of the treatment and reduce the side effects of the drug. Steroids are the most common form of intralesional injections that are used for the treatment of keloid scars.

  • Multi-needle radiofrequency

The face scars formed due to monkeypox infection can be treated by the use of microneedle radiofrequency. These microscopic needles penetrate the certain depth of your skin and direct the heat and radio wave energy to a certain dermal layer of your skin. This energy helps in stimulating the production of collagen in your skin leading to natural regeneration. This gives you smoother skin and fills in your skin imperfections as well.

How can I prevent scar formation during monkeypox infection?

There are certain ways that you can follow during monkeypox infection to prevent the formation of scars or prevent its severity. 

  • Avoid scratching your skin when you are infected.
  • Clean your hands before and after you touch your lesions.
  • Try keeping your skin dry and uncovered.
  • Clean and sterilise your rashes by using an antiseptic or sterilised water
  • You can rinse the lesions in your body with salt water or by taking warm baths with baking soda and Epsom salts.
  • Oral and perianal lidocaine can be applied to your lesions to relieve pain.

How can I protect myself from monkeypox infection?

The best thing in case of any viral infection is to protect yourself from getting infected with the virus. So, the next question arises: how can one actually protect themselves from a viral infection? Here are certain tips that can protect you from viral infection.

  • Restrain yourself from going into extremely populated places as the viral infection can spread through contact.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Follow all the COVID-19 safety guidelines as well because the spread of COVID-19 and the monkeypox virus are the same. 

Takeaway

Monkeypox infection is contagious and can spread through direct contact with each other. The rashes formed during monkeypox infection are a concern for various infected people. The good thing is that monkeypox rashes can be treated and lightened through various medical procedures. These medical procedures are absolutely safe for use and are being practised by several dermatologists across the country. As it is popularly said that prevention is better than cure, therefore, make sure that you follow the tips to reduce the severity of your skin rashes. Less severe rashes can be treated quickly and have fewer chances of leaving any permanent mark on your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How long does it take to cure monkeypox?

The symptoms of monkeypox infection take around 2-4 weeks to subside.

  • Are the rashes formed in monkeypox permanent?

No, the rashes formed during monkeypox infection are not permanent. There are various medical procedures available that can help treat your rashes.

  • What is the incubation period for monkeypox?

It may take around 6-13 days after getting infected with the virus for the symptoms of monkeypox infection to develop.

Ms. Srujana is Managing Editor of Cogito137, one of India’s leading student-run science communication magazines. I have been working in scientific and medical writing and editing since 2018. I am also associated with the quality assurance team of scientific journal editing. I am majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Biology at IISER Kolkata.

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