Supportive Home Care Guide for Monkeypox
- Keep rashes clean and dry when not in the shower/bathing to prevent bacterial infections.
- Stay hydrated during your illness, especially if you are also experiencing diarrhea.
- For painful genital and anorectal lesions or inflamed prostate, warm sitz baths* lasting at least 10 minutes several times per day may help with pain and inflammation.
- Consider over the counter medication options, as needed:
- For pain and fever (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen)
- For itchiness (e.g., antihistamine medication, calamine lotion, or petroleum jelly)
- For lesions in the mouth (e.g., Chlorhexidine mouthwash to keep lesions clean)
- For nausea and vomiting (e.g., antinausea or nausea relief medication)
- For inflamed prostate (e.g., stool softeners to help with relieving pain or pressure when using the restroom)
- Talk with your healthcare provider about other prescription medications which may help with symptoms or illness:
- “Magic” or “miracle” mouthwash or numbing gels which may help with pain from mouth lesions
- Antinausea or constipation medication
- Numbing gels which may be able to help with rectal or genital pain
- Antibiotics if you develop a bacterial skin infection
- Consider also getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (e.g., gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis), which may require treatment.
- Contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing bleeding from your rectum or if you are experiencing other concerning symptoms which are not helped by your homecare practices.
*What is a sitz bath?
A sitz bath involves sitting in warm water to help relieve pain in your bottom or around your private parts. Sitz baths do not take a lot of water, only a couple of inches. Don't add shower gel, bubble bath, or any type of soap to a sitz bath as it may cause additional irritation. The water temperature should be lukewarm and comfortable to the touch. You can soak up to three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes.
If you’re making a sitz bath in your tub:
- Fill the bathtub with about 2 to 3 inches of warm water
- Sit in the tub, making sure your private area is covered
- Afterward, gently pat the area dry using a soft towel. You can also dry off by using a hair dryer on a cool or low, warm setting.
Medical supply stores and pharmacies also sell small plastic tubs or basins that fit over a toilet seat that can be used for a sitz bath.