Health Guide: Chickenpox Treatment
Chickenpox is a mild disease affecting almost all children during their early years. Many investigators think this rather mild virus disease is closely related to a much more serious condition that affects adults, called shingles or herpes zoster. Chickenpox seems to affect children from three to four years of age. Infants under six months of age seem to have some immunity against the disease, probably through the mother. In most cases, the older child, more severe the attack.
Chickenpox usually begins with a low grade fever, a mild headache, and feeling of weakness. Next day skin may be flushed and hot. Later small teardrop-shaped blisters appear on the skin, mostly on the upper back or chest. In more severe cases the face and extremities are also involved. Within a few days the skin clears up and the child feels well again.
Bathe the skin daily with soap and warm water. Keep the child’s nails closely clipped to prevent scratching; otherwise germs on the skin may be scratched into the blisters causing more severe infection. Calamine lotion and talcum powder are helpful in controlling the inching. In more serious cases penicillin or some other antibiotic may be needed to control secondary infection of the skin.