What is chickenpox?
Chickenpox is a viral disease caused by varicella-zoster virus. Children below the age of 10 are more prone to having chickenpox. It causes itchy spots like rashes on the entire body and flu-like symptoms.
People who have had chickenpox develop a lifelong immunity against the disease and its recurrence is extremely rare.
What are its symptoms?
The onset of symptoms is after 10 to 21 days of exposure to the virus.
The appearance of red-itchy rashes on the region between neck and torso. Gradually it spreads to face and limbs. The rashes mature to become fluid-filled blisters that eventually drains out and scab over. These blisters may appear inside the mouth, on the genitals, around the eyes, and inside the ears.
Rashes are accompanied by mild fever (38.3 F- 38.8 F), headache, sore throat and stomach ache and loss of appetite.
What causes Chicken Pox?
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It is generally caused by the coming in contact with an infected person. The worst thing about Chickenpox is that it is contagious from two days before the blisters appear till the blisters crust over.
The virus can spread through :
- Coming in contact with the blisters
Who is at the risk of developing chicken pox?
- Anyone who has not been exposed to the virus is at higher risk of developing the disease.
- Children under the age of 12.
- Adults and children with weak immunity system
- Those who have come in contact with infected person.
Related: WHY aspirin should not be given to a child with chickenpox
How to treat Chicken Pox?
First of all, infected children should stay home to avoid contact with other children as the disease is contagious.
An infected person has to wait for the virus to mature to complete the duration. Itching in Chickenpox has to be treated with help of antihistamine medications, ointments and over-the-counter medications since bursting the blisters should be avoided. The fluid oozing from the blisters spreads to other parts of the body.
Following are the ways to relieve itching :
- Wear cotton and soft clothing.
- Apply lotion.
- Taking lukewarm baths.
Is there a vaccine for chickenpox?
Yes, there is a vaccine for chickenpox.
Chickenpox vaccine prevents the disease in 98% of the people. There are two shots for Chickenpox vaccine :
- One dose to be taken when the child is 12-15 months.
- Another dose to be taken when the child is between 4 to 6 years of age.
Adults who have not been vaccinated can receive doses of vaccine later on.
Tips for dealing with ChickenPox :
- Increase the intake of fluids during the disease.
- Avoid foods with high sugar and carbohydrate content such as bread, pasta, cakes.
- Coconut Oil can be used in cooking as it has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
- Increase intake of green veggies such as spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers etc.
- Natural Apple Cider vinegar given in small amounts enhances healing.
How to soothe rashes and itching by natural remedies :
- Apply coconut oil mixed with camphor on the blisters as both the ingredients have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties.
- Use a soft cloth to rub the itching area.
- Aloe Vera Gel is beneficial in calming down itching and redness of the rashes.
- Neem is considered one of the best natural remedies to treat blisters and itching. Neem provides instant relief from itching and it will help you get rid of deep scars and scabs.