ChickenPox: Prevention and Treament Options

Chicken pox rash is kinda similar to measles rash. The both are contagious and often spread through coughing and sneezing or even coming in contact with an infected person. However, a person vaccinated against measles is highly unlikely to get the disease. This is not same with chicken pox.

Chicken pox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella zoster virus.

A person can get infected by droplets from a sneeze or cough, or by contact with the clothing, bed linens or oozing blisters of an infected person. There is a blister-like rash, which first appears on the face and trunk, and then spreads throughout the body.

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Symptoms

A person with chicken pox has symptoms that include high fever, skin rash, appetite loss, red or pink bumps on the body, headache and tiredness.

Chicken pox patients are likely to have mild stomach discomfort, irritability or have trouble with itching. Their fever and other viral symptoms gradually begin to reduce. Chickenpox usually runs its course in 5 to 10 days.

Before the rash appears, there will be:

  • a general feeling of being sick
  • fever, which is usually worse in adults than children
  • aching muscles
  • loss of appetite
  • in some cases, a feeling of nausea

After the rash appears, there will be:

  • Rash: Severity varies from a few spots to a rash that covers the whole body.
  • Spots: The spots develop in clusters and generally appear on the face, limbs, chest, and stomach. They tend to be small, red, and itchy.
  • Blisters: Blisters can develop on the top of the spots. These can become very itchy.
  • Clouding: Within about 48 hours, the blisters cloud over and start drying out. A crust develops.
  • Healing: Within about 10 days, the crusts fall off on their own.

Prevention

Usually, getting vaccinated is the best form of prevention. The vaccine for varicella is available. For children, 2 doses of the varicella vaccine are given, one at 12 to 15 months and one at age 4 to 6 years. These are 90 percent effective at preventing chickenpox.

Treatment

There is no known treatment specifically used for chicken pox. Chickenpox is known to resolve within a week or two without treatment.

Medications on how to reduce symptoms of itchiness and discomfort infection from spreading to other people may be recommended.

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Home remedies:

Avoiding dehydration: It is important to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to prevent dehydration.

Mouth soreness: If there are spots in the mouth. Salty or spicy foods also hot foods should be avoided.

Itchiness: ltchiness can become severe, but it is important to minimize scratching to reduce the risk of scarring.

The following may help prevent scratching:

  • placing mittens or even socks over a child’s hands when they go to sleep, so that any attempt at scratching during the night does not cut the skin
  • applying calamine lotion or having an oatmeal bath to reduce itching
  • wearing loose clothing

 

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