Chickenpox - Treatment

Treatment involves keeping the person to be as comfortable as possible. This helps in reducing the effect of chickenpox considerably. Below are steps to be followed:

Managing symptoms:

  • Scratching the skin can cause a skin infection because bacteria hide beneath the fingernails. Scratching may also increase the chances of developing a scar. In order to avoid scratching or rubbing of the infected area keep your nails as short as possible.
  • Keep your body as cool as possible in order to avoid heat and sweat causing itchiness.
  • Avoid wearing rough clothes over the infected area.
  • Taking daily baths with soap and water, which may prevent bacterial infections. Also you can try a skin-soothing oatmeal or cornstarch bath.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the heat and humidity.
  • Use soothing moisturizer after bath to soften and cool the skin.
  • For reducing fever, you can take acetaminophen. Children should be given acetaminophen according to their weight, rather than their age. Note: Children should not be given aspirin as it can cause a dangerous condition called Reye syndrome.
  • Try over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream on infected/itchy areas.

Medical treatments:

For people who have high risk of complications then doctor may prescribe the necessary medication. This will help in reducing the infections and risk of complications.

1. Children:

  • If your child has a high risk of complications, then your doctor may prescribe antiviral drug such as acyclovir (Zovirax) or another drug called immune globulin intravenous (IGIV). This will help in reducing the severity of diseases after the rash appears first.
  • Any parent without a personal history of chickenpox whose child develops chickenpox should call his or her own doctor right away to see whether treatment is recommended.


2. Adults:

  • If your child has a high risk of complications then your doctor may prescribe antiviral drug such as valacyclovir (Valtrex) and famciclovir (Famvir). This will help in reducing the severity of infections but it should be prescribed only for adults and not for child.
  • Your doctor may also suggest a chickenpox vaccine to reduce infection and itchiness.
  • Antihistamine liquids and pills can also ease severe itching.
  • Most of the treatments mostly involve in reducing the itchiness and preventing broken blisters from getting infected by scratching. Oatmeal baths and calamine lotion can help to reduce the itchiness.
  • If complications do develop, your doctor will determine the appropriate treatment. Treatment for skin infections and pneumonia may be with antibiotics.
  • Consult a doctor immediately if the person is very sick, confused or if they have trouble walking or have a stiff neck.  Also consult a doctor if the blisters become infected or if there are spots in the eyes, ears or mouth.

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