Chicken pox rash photos, its incubation period and chicken pox treatment
Image by Sarah Evans on Photo bucket
A chicken pox rash or infection is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus. Varicella (chicken pox scientific name) is one of the classic childhood diseases.
We see it most often in children in the age group 4 to 10. Chicken pox is not so common in pre school children.
The anti bodies produced during an infection with the varicella zoster virus provide life long immunity.
It is very uncommon that one gets chickenpox twice but it is not impossible.
How to recognise a Chickenpox rash?
A chicken pox rash starts with crops of red spots that soon turn into itchy blisters. These blisters easily break and than crust over.
Usually the rash starts on the head and body and then spreads to the arms and legs. Sometimes blisters can also be found in the mouth, ears and nose.
Chicken pox rash photos
Infant with chicken pox on face and scalp.
Photo by ILJR
Is chicken pox contagious?
Chicken pox is highly contagious and is spread by sneezing, coughing, breathing or direct contact with the rash.
From three days before the rash appears till all the chicken pox blisters have turned into scabs this virus can be spread.
The illness usually last about 5 to 10 days. In this highly contagious period you should keep your child at home and avoid contact with newborns babies and pregnant woman.
Other signs of chicken pox
Typical signs and symptoms are:
- Characteristic rash.
- Fever that can last a few days.
- Body ache or head ache.
- Dry cough.
- Sore throat.
- Malaise –feeling sick and uncomfortable.
Normally in healthy children, chickenpox is a mild disease. The symptoms of chicken pox in adults are more severe and 25% are more likely to have significant complications.
Chicken pox incubation period
The incubation for chicken pox is anywhere between 10 and 21 days. This means that a child will show the first symptoms of the disease 10 to 21 days after been in contact with the virus.
What is the best chicken pox treatment?
There is no real cure for chicken pox but there are a few things we can do to relief the symptoms while the immune system fights of the virus.
- When a child develops a fever it is important he doesn’t get dehydrated so we give him plenty of fluid.
- To relief severe itching of the chicken pox rash you can apply some calamine lotion or give your child a lukewarm oatmeal bath.
- If your child has difficulty getting to sleep because of the itching or body ache you may give some paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- It is advisable to keep fingernails short to prevent bacterial infections caused by scratching the chicken pox blisters.
Antiviral medication is usually only prescribed to children who are at risk of complications of chicken pox. For example babies younger than one month and babies with severe hart, lung and skin conditions.
Keep your child in a cool environment because heat and sweating will make the itching worse. Avoid exposure to the sun with a chicken pox rash while the lesions are healing.
At this stage the skin is more prone to sunburn and this may increase the risk of scaring.
Chicken pox home remedy
There are a few products on the market that can help reduce the itching of chicken pox and prevent scarring or tissue damage. This Soothing Relief Moisture Cream from Aveeno with natural colloidal oatmeal will soothe baby's itching and the redness of the chickenpox rash
Homeopatic chicken pox symptom relief in spray form suitable for kids two years old and up helps to relief severe itching from the skin rash and blisters but also other symptoms of chickenpox such as sore throat, irritability, fatigue, and lack of appetite.
Aveeno soothing bath treatment uses colloidal oatmeal combined with a special moisturizer to relieve dry, itchy and irritated skin.
Chicken pox complications
A bacterial infection can be a complication of chicken pox when your child scratches the itchy blisters.
More serious complications caused by the varicella zoster virus are
- Viral pneumonia.
- Bleeding problems.
- Encephalitis (infection of the brain).
Since 1995 there are chicken pox vaccinations are available. Because of the risk of these complications the American Academy Of Pediatrics recommends chickenpox vaccinations in two doses.