Chicken pox is a viral infection that causes irritation, rash or severe itching in the body. The itching and irritations are confirmed to be pox when Blisters are formed on the skin. Chicken Pox is more likely to affect those who do not often get sick or who have not been vaccinated for it. In the early times of the century, most people used to from chicken pox in the childhood, but in today’s time, such diseases have decreased. For most people, pox is a mild illness. Still, it is better to get vaccinated. Chicken Pox vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent it and its possible complications.
Causes of Chicken Pox
Chicken pox is caused by the infection of a virus called as Varicella Zoster Virus. It’s a highly contagious virus and in the most cases, you may get the virus transmitted from other individuals. It is spread through saliva, in the air through sneezing, and staying in close proximity or contact with the infected person.
Actually, blisters are a later sign of infection. The virus enters the body many days before forming any blisters and stays till the blisters are dried of treatment.
Symptoms of Chicken Pox
Rapid itching in the body, red granules are the main symptoms of varicella infection. The risk of chicken pox infection is higher in the children between 1 year and 10 years than adults. Unhealthy eating habits, polluted drinking water, and unhygienic lifestyle are the main factors that spread the pox virus more. If infected with chicken pox, do not try to remove blisters with your fingernails, this can cause a viral breakout and virus will spread rapidly.
Visit a Doctor if you see any of the symptoms listed below:
- Blisters growing near or in the eyelids
- Deep red or swollen blisters. It can also be symptoms of other skin infections
- With granules, if you feel dizziness, increased heart beats, a shortness of breath, tremors, loss of coordination in muscles, severe coughing, vomiting.
- Stiffed neck and a fever
- Anyone in the house has a lack of immunity or a child younger than 6 months.
- Feeling fatigue
- A headache and lack of appetite
- Spreading red or pink colored grains in the body
Risk Factors of Chicken Pox
Chicken pox is highly transmissive and infectious, and it can spread rapidly. You may be exposed to the virus in the air, or by touching any blisters on the patient’s body, coughing or sneezing. The risk of pox is increased when:
- You have never had chicken pox in the past
- Not Vaccinated against the varicella infections
- Children who live in crowded places like Hostels, schools or camps
Treatments of Chicken Pox
You should take proper healthy and hygienic food. Avoid eating spicy and oily food.
A patient of chickenpox should not take Aspirin. This can worsen his condition.
Avoid going to the crowded areas or public places when infected with chicken pox. If possible, stay away from people during this time.
Increase the intake of liquids, Drinks more water, fruit juices, warm soups time to time. Avoid beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages.
If a breastfeeding mother is infected, then she should NOT feed the Baby on her milk. Consult your doctor for proper childcare and protect the baby from infection.
To Soothe the Blisters and itching, one can follow the below steps:
- Apply body lotions. Use the unscented soaps and lotions on the skin
- Take bath in luke warm water, use soft towels to dry the skin
- Wear cotton loose fitting clothes. Lightweight and breathable clothes are best
Upon inspection, a Doctor may ask you to wait till the virus passes out of the system automatically. This happens when the patients don’t have the physical strength to tolerate medicines, such as children below the age of 1 year.
The doctor may prescribe antiviral medicines, antihistamines medicines and topicals creams and ointments for the blisters. The medication depends on the scale of infection and adverse effects caused by the virus. Remember, the antiviral or antihistamine medicines will not cure the chicken pox. The medicines will only reduce the symptoms of infection by decreasing the spread and speed of viral infection. This provides more time for the immune system to recover and acquire strength to push the virus out of the body.
As we said earlier, younger children are at more risk of getting Chicken Pox than Adults. But Adults, who have other underlying health issues can easily get infected with the virus and show severe symptoms. If infected, keep children at home, do not send them to school, and other crowded places to prevent the infection from spreading.
Home Remedies for Chicken Pox
As discussed above, medicines and home remedies can not cure the varicella virus infections. The remedies described below are to soothe the symptoms and irritations caused by the infection. There are basically 3 ways to reduce the symptoms of Chicken Pox::
1. Herbal Skin Ointments
Honey – Apply honey 2-4 times on the blister affected area of the skin. Honey is a natural moisturizer and has antibacterial properties. It will soothe the irritation.
Baking Soda – Mix a tablespoon of Baking soda in a glass of water. Soak a cotton ball in the mix and apply it in the blisters. Do it 2 to 3 times in a day to reduce inflammation and irritation.
Oat’s Flour – To reduce itching, take a bath with oatmeal flour mixed with water. Boil 2 cups of oats flour in 2 liters of water, boil it for about 15 minutes. After this, filter out the water with a cotton cloth and pack the residues in a cloth bag. Use this to scrub your body in the bath.
Green Peas – Boil green peas in water and apply the water on the skin, this eliminates chicken pox red rash.
Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera gel mixed with lemon juice can reduce the inflammation and irritation. Simply, take a teaspoon of fresh aloe gel and mix few drops of lemon juice in it. Apply this mix 2 to 3 times on the blister every day.
Vitamin E oil – Vitamin E oil has tremendous skin moisturizing and skin repairing properties. The oil is available in the form of capsules in the market. Simply cut open a capsule and squeeze out the juice from it. Apply this liquid with help of a Q-tip on the blisters.
Ginger Bath – Chop and cut about 100 grams of Ginger and pour it in a bucket of hot water. When the water is lukewarm, use it to wash your body.
Brown Vinegar – Mix half a cup of brown vinegar in a bucket of bathing water. It reduces inflammation of the blisters and also helps in drying them faster.
Neem leaves – By putting neem leaves in warm bath water, itching ends with a bath. Neem is naturally rich in anti-bacterial properties.
3. Health Foods
Lemon Drinks – Drinking lemon juice provides relief in chicken pox. From time to time, take 1 tablespoon lemon juice and drink in a glass of clean water for treatment.
Carrots – Eating half boiled carrots and coriander will reduce the weakness of chicken pox. Making a carrot and coriander soup is also relieves the symptoms of infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Mixing half a cup of apple vinegar in light hot water, and bathe in it for 20 minutes. This relieves the skin irritation and reduces the blisters.
Herbal Tea – Teas are good for 2 things: they provide instant energy and empower immune system. Make a blend of Herbs such as ginger, basil, millet, and chamomile. Boil it with water and sweeten it with honey, add some lemon juice to enhance flavor. Drink 2 cups of this tea every day.
Care tips for Chicken Pox
- Do not scratch the blisters with your nails. Cut your nails small. Wear gloves on your hands to avoid unwanted scratching during the night.
- Keep the body cool to avoid sweating and itching. Wear light clothes and avoid bathing with hot water, use lukewarm water.
- Also, keep in mind that the infection should not spread to other members in the house. Keep the clothes, sheets, bedrolls etc. of the infected person away. Wash them separately from the clothes of the other members of the house.
Doctors advise on Chicken Pox Vaccination
To prevent Chicken Pox; Children of age between 12 to 15 months should get chicken pox vaccine, followed by a Booster vaccine between the age of 4 to 6 years.
This vaccine is 70 to 80 percent effective in preventing mild infection of chickenpox and is 95 percent effective for severe infection. That is why even though some children have taken vaccination they are susceptible to symptoms related to this disease.