Chickenpox is a common and highly infectious childhood disease. We discuss how to control the symptoms and how to avoid spreading the infection
Look for the following symptoms if you suspect chickenpox:
- Blister-like rash
- The rash first appears on the face, scalp, and trunk
Self-help tips for itching
- Luke-warm baths
- Cold compresses
- Loose cotton clothing
- Encourage children to have regular drinks. If necessary, administer analgesics to relieve pain on swallowing.
- Keep children’s fingernails clean and clipped short to minimize harm from scratching.
- Pat dry, do not rub, the body when toweling off after bathing.
- Purchase Calamine lotion and apply to affected areas.
- Don't scratch the pox or they will leave deep scars that do not go away.
- Try not to think about your chicken pox, as this makes you feel itchy.
- Fever-reducing drugs and painkillers such as paracetamol can be given according to the recommended dose.
- Do not touch an open pox and touch anything else. This will spread the virus.
- Make sure you are not allergic to any of the things you'll need.
- If your chicken pox does not go away after three weeks consult a doctor.
- Seek medical attention if the fever rises above 102 degrees F.
- Seek medical attention if the fever lasts longer than four days.
- Seek medical attention if there is breathing difficulties.
- Seek medical attention for a severe cough.
- Stay away from other people until the scabs have dried up. This should be about one week.
- Stay away from pregnant women and immune compromised individuals.
- The vaccine is about 70 to 90 percent effective, depending on the severity of the chicken pox. Vaccinations will prevent more severe forms of the illness, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
- Discuss with your medical provider about the advisability of "chicken pox parties".
- Adults who have had chicken pox may develop shingles later in life. There is a FDA approved vaccine available for adults 60 and older to help prevent shingles.
- Do not give your child aspirin during a bout of chicken pox.
- Let your doctor or medical provider know if your child has chicken pox when making a medical appointment. Usually arrangements will be made to keep your child away from other patients to help prevent spreading the illness.
The best way to get rid of chicken pox is to take plenty of rest.