Chicken Pox: Understanding The Facts.

pills geneva; font-size: small;”>The same virus also causes herpes zoster

pill geneva; font-size: small;”>Chickenpox is very contagious and may be spread from touching the fluids from blisters of an infected person or if someone with the disease coughs or sneezes near you.

A person with chickenpox becomes contagious 1 to 2 days before their blisters appear and remain contagious until all the blisters have dried out.

In Most cases chickenpox occurs in children younger than 10 years and the disease is usually mild though complications can occur whereas adults and older children usually get sicker than younger children.

Severe chickenpox symptoms are more common in children whose immune system does not work well because of an illness or medicines such as cancer treatments and steroids like prednisolone, dexamethasone among others.

Most children with chickenpox present with fever, headache and stomach ache before the rash appears. The chickenpox rash occurs about 10 to 21 days after coming into contact with someone who had the disease. These blisters are small, itchy and fluid-filled and form over red spots on the skin .The blisters are usually first seen on the face, middle of the body and scalp

On the continuing days new blisters form in groups and often appear in the mouth, vagina and on the eyelids.

Most blisters will not leave scars after healing unless they are infected with bacteria from scratching.

Treatment involves avoiding scratching or rubbing the itchy areas and Keeping fingernails short to avoid damaging the skin.

Take warm baths using little soap and rinse thoroughly and apply a soothing cream on the skin like calamine lotion which is commonly used.

Avoid prolonged exposure to excessive heat and humidity.Use of oral antihistamines and/or steroidal cream like hydrocortisone cream may be appropriate. Antiviral medication is not usually prescribed to otherwise healthy children who do not have severe symptoms.

Acetaminophen or paracetamol may be used to control the fever.

A child with chickenpox should be restricted from contact with other children until all chickenpox sores have dried out.

Usually a person recovers without complications and the virus remains dormant in one’s body for their lifetime and may reemerge in adulthood as herpes zoster during periods of stress or when the body’s immunity is compromised like in people with AIDS.

However a chickenpox vaccine exists and can be obtained.

Some children who have had the vaccine will still develop a mild case of chickenpox however they usually recover much faster.

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