Chickenpox is a viral condition characterized by an itchy reddened rash that is quite common among children in the past. With the availability of vaccinations, it became uncommon.
The condition is usually mild among children but adults are at risk for developing serious complications including bacterial pneumonia.
Those who had chickenpox usually develop lifetime immunity. Nevertheless, the virus stays dormant in the body and can later on reactivate as shingles. Since the chickenpox virus can pass from a pregnant woman to the unborn child, possibly resulting to birth defects, the doctor often recommend woman planning to get pregnant to confirm their immunity with a blood test.
How to reduce itchiness by chickenpox
There are measures that can reduce the itchiness of chickenpox rash at home. These measures can make a child more comfortable as well as keep the scratching under control.
Prevention of skin irritation
- Wear loose-fitting clothes made out of cotton
- Change bedsheets and clothes daily
- Use a mild laundry detergent on clothes or linens
A warm to cool bath can alleviate the itchiness. It is recommended to take baths for 20-30 minutes as often as needed to stay clean and soothe the itchiness.
- Only use a mild soap particularly those that are made for sensitive skin or made for babies.
- Oatmeal that is grounded to powder can be added to the bath.
- Blot the skin dry after a bath.
You can apply a cool compress on the itchy areas.
- You can utilize a soft washcloth by immersing it in cool water and apply directly on the skin.
- Prepare an oatmeal paste and apply on the itchy areas. Simply use oatmeal grounded to powder and mix with warm water to create a paste. Spread the paste on a towel and apply the side with the paste against the itchy skin. Allow to stay in place for 10-15 minutes and then gently wash it off and pat the skin dry.
Soothing lotions can be applied to promote drying of the chickenpox blisters. A doctor should be consulted first before using lotions that contain antihistamine. The lotions that can be used are those that contain:
- Menthol, phenol and camphor
Creams or lotions that contain antihistamines are not used for chickenpox. Oftentimes, antihistamines taken orally can help alleviate the itchiness.
The oral antihistamines prevent the child from scratching the rash and blisters, especially during sleep. Some are available over-the-counter. If these are used, follow the instructions carefully.