Chickenpox is a common, non-serious infection that affects most healthy children and adults (although this has been reduced by vaccinations), but chickenpox can cause problems for people with certain diseases or immune deficiencies. Chickenpox infection causes small red spots on the skin that are itchy and sometimes produce painful blisters and crusts, as well as fever and headache. Follow these simple steps to cure chickenpox and reduce discomfort.
Helping Healthy Children and Adults
Buy drugs that are sold in the market. When your child has chickenpox, the condition may be accompanied by a fever. To treat fever and reduce pain, use over-the-counter fever relievers such as paracetamol and acetaminophen. Read all the information on the packaging before taking the drug. If you are unsure whether a drug is safe to take, do not give or take it without consulting a medical professional.
Do not give aspirin or drugs containing aspirin to treat fever or other symptoms of chickenpox. Taking aspirin when you have chickenpox can cause Reye’s syndrome, which affects the liver and brain and can be fatal.
Consult a doctor about the use of ibuprofen. In rare cases, this can lead to a bad skin reaction and additional infection.
Try taking over-the-counter antihistamines. The main symptom of chickenpox is intense itching in the affected area. There are times when the itching becomes unbearable or causes too much discomfort. When this happens, take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, or Claritin to help reduce itching. Consult a doctor about the dosage of this medicine for children; these drugs can be especially useful when you want to sleep at night.
If you find yourself or your child experiencing severe pain or discomfort, see a medical professional. Maybe your doctor can prescribe a strong antihistamine.
Keep the intake of water in your body. It is important to stay hydrated while you have chickenpox. It is possible to become dehydrated when you have chickenpox. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also consume other fluid-enhancing drinks, such as sports drinks.
Ice bars are a great way to help kids stay hydrated if they don’t want to drink enough water.
Eat soft and tender foods. Sores may form on the inside of the mouth when you or your child has chickenpox. This can be very annoying and painful, especially if you eat the wrong foods. Try soft and creamy foods such as warm soup, oats, pudding, or ice cream. If there is a sore that feels very painful in the mouth, avoid eating foods that are salty, spicy, sour, or too hot.
You or your child can occasionally suck on ice cubes, ice bars, or lozenges to relieve pain in the mouth.
Stay home. If you or your child has chickenpox, stay home or keep him at home as much as possible. Do not go to work, go to school or allow your children with smallpox to go to school. You don’t want the virus to spread to other people—chickenpox is very easily spread through the air or by touching a rash. Plus, you don’t want to make your symptoms worse by experiencing fatigue.
Once the wound is scabs and dry, the virus is no longer contagious. Usually this process takes five to seven days.
Caring for Smallpox
Don’t scratch. The most important thing to remember about chickenpox is that you or your child should not scratch the chickenpox. Scratching it will make it worse and cause more irritation and possible infection. If the chickenpox is scratched too often, the sores can develop into scars that may remain after the chickenpox heals.
This will be difficult, but you should try or help your child work on it.
Cut the nails. While you should generally avoid scratching or prevent your child from scratching the sore, it’s usually difficult to avoid it. Since you or your child will likely scratch them, keep the fingernails short and file gently. This will help prevent scratching the nail in pain and exposing the skin, making the healing process longer, more painful, and possibly causing infection.
Gloves. If you or your child continues to scratch even with short fingernails, consider covering your hands with gloves or socks. This will help prevent sores from forming. If you or your child tries to scratch with protected hands, there will be less irritation and problems because the nails will be covered.
Even if you or your child are good at refraining from scratching during the day, wear gloves at night because scratching the skin during sleep is possible.
Wear appropriate clothing. The skin will sweat and feel sore when exposed to chickenpox. To avoid skin irritation, do not wear tight clothing. Choose loose-fitting cotton clothing, which will keep your body at a comfortable temperature and will rub against your skin gently. This is the best option to prevent discomfort.
Don’t wear rough fabrics like denim or wool.
Keep the body cool. The skin will feel worse and hotter during exposure to chickenpox, which occurs due to fever and sores. Stay away from places that are too hot or humid because this will make your body or your child hotter and the skin feels more itchy. Thus, you or your child should not go outside in hot or humid weather and keep your home in a cool temperature.
Also avoid activities that will increase body temperature and produce too much sweat.
Apply calamine lotion. Calamine lotion is good for itchy skin and can help heal wounds. Apply as often as needed if the itching and pain is too uncomfortable to deal with. This lotion will soothe the skin and provide a sense of relief.
You can also try other types of skin conditioning gels to help with chickenpox. You can apply hydrocortisone cream or ointment to bumps that are especially red, itchy, or inflamed for a few days.
Do not use lotions that contain Benadryl. Frequent use can cause poisoning because too much of the drug is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Take a shower with cold water. To help relieve itching on your skin or your child, take a cold or warm bath. Do not use soap that can cause irritation to the wound. If the fever you or your child is experiencing is severe enough, make sure the water does not cause discomfort and make you shiver.
Add raw wheat germ, baking soda, or barley soap to the water to help soothe pain and relieve irritation.
After bathing, apply conditioning or moisturizing lotion before applying calamine lotion again.
Use a cold compress on very itchy areas of the skin between showers.
Helping People at Risk for Chickenpox
See a doctor if you are over 12 years old or if your child is under 6 months old. Chickenpox usually occurs and lasts until cured without medical assistance if the patient is under 12 years of age. But if you are over 12 years old, you need to see a doctor as soon as chickenpox is seen. Serious complications can arise.
Your doctor may prescribe acyclovir, an antiviral medication that helps shorten the duration of the virus. Try to see a doctor within the first 24 hours after chickenpox occurs so that this drug is most effective. The 800 mg acyclovir pill should be taken four times a day for five days, but the dose for smaller or younger teens may be different.
Antivirals are especially helpful for people with asthma or eczema, especially children.
See a doctor if your condition gets worse. In certain circumstances, you will need to see a doctor, regardless of your age. If you have a fever for more than four days, have a fever of more than 38 degrees Celsius, develop a severe rash that oozes pus or develops near or in your eyes, has confusion, has trouble getting out of bed or walking, stiff neck, has a severe cough, vomiting frequently, or having trouble breathing, you should see a doctor immediately.
The doctor will examine you and decide on the best course of action. The above symptoms may be a severe form of chickenpox, another bacterial or viral infection.
Seek immediate medical attention if you are pregnant. You are at risk for additional infections if you are pregnant and have chickenpox. Your unborn child can also be infected. Your doctor may give you acyclovir, but you may also be given immunoglobulin treatment. This is an antibody solution from healthy people that is injected to help people who are at high risk of developing severe cases of chickenpox infection.
This treatment can also prevent the mother from passing it on to her unborn child, which can have serious consequences for the baby.
Get yourself checked if you have immune problems. There are people who need special treatment from a doctor if they have chickenpox. If you have an immune disease, have a compromised immune system, have HIV or AIDS, are undergoing treatment for cancer, steroids or other immunosuppressive drugs, you need to get yourself checked out immediately. Your doctor may give you intravenous acyclovir, but a compromised immune system can make you resistant to this drug.
If you find that you are immune, your doctor will give you foscarnet instead, but the dose and duration of treatment will depend on your case.