What is chickenpox?

Fact Checked

Always bear in mind that chickenpox is a mild and prevalent childhood condition that many children acquire at some point in their lives. This condition causes the development of red, itchy rashes that turn to fluid-filled blisters. After some time, they crust over to form scabs that later on drop off.

Some children only have a few spots but others end up with the whole body covered. The rashes are likely to manifest on the ears, face, scalp, chest, under the arms, belly and on the legs and arms.

What causes chickenpox?

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus that rapidly spreads from an infected individual. This condition is quite common among children below 10 years old. Generally, chickenpox is very common in childhood that most adults are already immune since they already acquired the disease before. Most children typically acquire the condition during the winter and spring season.

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus that rapidly spreads from an infected individual.

How to deal with chickenpox

The best way to prevent the infection is to keep the child away from school until all the spots have crusted over. Always bear in mind that chickenpox is highly infectious from 1-2 days before the manifestation of rashes until all blisters crusted over which is usually 5-6 days after the start of the rash.

If a child has chickenpox, he/she must avoid public areas to prevent exposure to others, especially those who are at risk for serious health issues such as pregnant women, newborns and those who have weakened immune system.

Treatment for chickenpox

Chickenpox in children is a minor illness but can cause the child to feel miserable and irritable while the condition is present. The child might have fever during the initial days of the condition. The rashes can be very itchy.

Remember that there is not specific treatment for chickenpox, but there are remedies to alleviate the symptoms such as paracetamol for high temperature and calamine lotion or cooling balms to reduce the itchiness. In many children, the blisters dry off and drop naturally in just 1-2 weeks.

When to seek further care

Among many children, chickenpox is a minor condition that gets better without requiring care. Nevertheless, some children can become seriously sick with chickenpox, thus setting an appointment with a doctor is required.

A doctor should be consulted as soon as possible if the child ends up with unusual symptom such as blisters that become infected and if the child experiences chest pain or difficulty breathing.

Chickenpox in adults

Even though chickenpox is a childhood condition, adults can also acquire the condition. Chickenpox is quite severe in adults than children. Take note that adults have a higher risk for developing complications.

Adults who develop chickenpox must not go to work until all the rashes have crusted over. It is vital to consult a doctor if unusual symptoms develop such as infected blisters. In most cases, antiviral medications can be given to adults and can provide the best results as long as started early.


Was this post helpful?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top

  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional