Chickenpox is a common infectious disease in children in Pakistan and outbreaks of chickenpox are occurring periodically from the last few years. It is characterized by a vesicular rash. Small vesicles filled with fluid start appearing on the body and then gradually spread out over the face and limbs. As new vesicles appear, the older ones start drying and form a scab. These vesicles sometime become infected too.
The infection comes out in 10 to 20 days after you are exposed to the virus. There are high-grade fever and intense itching. Mouth ulcers may occur. This process usually lasts for a week. Some other common symptoms include:
· Loss of appetite
· Tiredness and fatigued
There are three phases after your rash appears. These phases are:
1. Bumps of raised pink or red colour. These will take several days to break out.
2. Blisters filled with fluid. They will break after the one day they are formed.
3. Blisters will be covered with scabs and crusts and take several days to recover.
New bumps will continue to form for many days. That is why you will have all three stages at the same time. This virus is contagious and can spread in less than 48 hours after rashes show up. Once all your blisters are covered, it will stop spreading.
A virus causes this disease known as varicella-zoster. It is contagious and can spread by direct contact with the rash. If an infected person cough or sneeze, the droplets stay in the air. When you will inhale air, these droplets will transfer through air and you’ll be infected as well.
You will be at higher risk of getting infected with this virus if you haven’t had chickenpox before or you didn’t get the vaccination.
Vaccination is essential for people who work in child care or schools. If you get chickenpox even after vaccination, you’ll have milder symptoms and few blisters on skin. There won’t be any sign of fever as well. This is a very rare condition that people get chicken pox more than once.
When to see doctor:
If you think that you or your children may experiencing chicken pox, call your Child Specialist doctor. Your doctor will examine rash and blisters on your skin and confirm chickenpox. Your doctor may prescribed some medications to lessen the severity of virus and for relieving the itching.
Also talk to your doctor if,
· The rashes are spreading towards eyes.
· The rash gets warm and red. This might be signs of some bacterial skin infection.
· Anyone in your home is immunity disorder.
· You are experiencing any if these:
1. Rapid heartbeat
5. Shortness of breath
7. Fever higher than 102F.
8. Stiff neck
Chicken pox are diagnosed by doctors by analysing your rashes. Sometimes, laboratory tests are taken to confirm chicken pox. These tests include blood tests and sample test of lesions.
There is no treatment for this disease long your child is healthy. The disease will run it’s course, most of the time. your doctor will recommend an antihistamine to relive itchiness.
Although, chickenpox is a mild disease. However, some complications can be caused. Common complications include pneumonia, diarrhoea, cough, dehydration, infection of the skin inflammation of the brain etc. It is highly contagious. Children and pregnant women should avoid contact with chickenpox patients.
Lifestyle and home remedies:
You can follow some instructions to relieve the severity of disease or ease the symptoms. These instructions include:
· Avoid scratching as it can increase the risks of sores becoming infected.
· If your child is unable to stop scratching, apply gloves on his/her hands.
· Also, trim his/her nails to avoid any scars.
· Itching can be ready discomforting. To relief itch and other symptoms, take a cool bath. Add baking soda, uncooked oatmeal, colloidal oatmeal and aluminium acetate in it.
· Use calamine lotion on the spots.
· If chickenpox is also developed in your mouth, eat a soft and bland diet.
Use antihistamine for itching such as diphenhydramine