Chickenpox: Symptoms and Treatment

Chickenpox: Symptoms and Treatment | HealthSoul

Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is typically characterized by a rash of itchy red blisters all over your body. The condition results from a virus and is more likely to appear in children than adults. Fortunately, since the development of the chickenpox vaccine in the mid-1990s, reports of the condition have decreased. If you’ve already had it, chances are you won’t get the infection again in your lifetime.

What is Chickenpox?

Risk Factors for Chickenpox

There are certain risk factors that may make you more vulnerable to contracting chickenpox. These factors include the following:

  • You’re Under the Age of 12
  • You Have Come into Contact with an Infected Person
  • You’re an Adult Living with Children
  • You Spend a Lot of Time in a School or Child Care Center
  • You Have a Compromised Immune System

Causes of Chickenpox

Chickenpox occurs from a virus that usually spreads through the air when someone around you sneezes or coughs. You can also become infected if you come in direct contact with the blisters of someone with the infection.

Once you’re infected, the incubation period is about 14 to 16 days. After that, you may develop a rash and blisters. Additionally, you’re contagious about one to two days before your rash appears and will remain contagious until all your blisters have dried up and scabbed over. Because of this, many healthcare professionals recommend anyone with chickenpox to remain home and avoid public settings for about a week after the first blisters appear.

Symptoms of Chickenpox

In addition to developing red, itchy blisters, you may also experience the following symptoms if you have chickenpox:

  • High Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Overall Fatigue

It usually takes patients about 10 days to fully recover from a chickenpox infection. As the infection runs its course, it’s best to rest and remain isolated from others to prevent it from spreading.

Symptoms of Chickenpox

Diagnosis of Chickenpox

If you think you or a loved one has chickenpox, schedule a visit with your doctor. During your appointment, your doctor will examine any rash or blisters you may have. While at your doctor’s office, you may also be separated from other patients to help prevent the illness from spreading to others, especially patients more vulnerable to contracting the illness than others. Adults who never received the vaccine, newborns, pregnant women, and anyone with a weakened immune system are all more vulnerable to chickenpox than other groups of people.

Treatment of Chickenpox

In most cases, effective treatment options for chickenpox include a variety of nonmedical options, including the following:

  • Staying Cool and Avoiding Heat
  • Applying Cool Compresses to Itchy Blisters
  • Keeping Nails and Hands Clean
  • Bathing Daily
  • Wearing Loose Clothing

If home remedies don’t work, your doctor may suggest the following remedies:

  • Over-the-Counter Medicated Ointments and Creams
  • Antihistamine Pills and Liquids
  • Antiviral Medications
  • Acetaminophen

Treatment of Chickenpox

Prognosis of Chickenpox

The prognosis for chickenpox hinges on how old you are when you develop the illness and what state of health you’re in when you do. If you’re a child and contract the illness, you have a high likelihood of making a full recovery. However, adults, infants, the elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system usually get sicker and have a more difficult time coping with the virus.

Complications of Chickenpox

If left untreated, chickenpox may result in the following complications:

Blurry Vision from the Rash Spreading to Your Eyes