Although most cases of chickenpox heal without complications, sometimes medical
attention is required. Call the doctor if any of the following conditions
Signs of bacterial infection include the following:
If someone with chickenpox begins to breathe with difficulty, shows confusion,
disorientation, or appears extremely sleepy and becomes difficult to wake up, go
immediately to a hospital's Emergency Department. In addition, any
vomiting need prompt emergency evaluation.
Most cases of chickenpox can be managed at home. Chickenpox rash tends to be
extremely itchy. Several treatments can be used at home to help a child feel
Cool compresses applied to blisters may give relief, as may calamine lotion.
You can give cool-water baths every 3-4 hours, adding baking soda to the
water to calm itching. You may also soak in an Aveeno oatmeal bath to soothe
Trimming fingernails can help prevent infection from scratching the
blisters. If you have a small infant with chickenpox, cover the child's hands
with mittens to minimize scratching.
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or other oral antihistamines also can relieve
itching. These medicines are available over-the-counter.
with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Read the label before giving any medication.
Some medicines contain many agents. If the medicine is for a child, make sure it
contains no aspirin. Never give
aspirin to a
been associated with Reye syndrome.
Occasionally a child will develop blisters in the mouth, making eating or
drinking painful. A person must continue to drink fluids to prevent
To alleviate pain, provide cold fluids (ice pops are one suggestion) and soft
bland foods. Avoid any foods that are spicy, hot, or acidic (for instance,
Keep children at home from school and daycare until all blisters have
crusted. A child with chickenpox is extremely contagious until the last crop of
blisters has crusted.
If you take your child to a doctor's office, call ahead to let the staff
know that you think your child has chickenpox. They may usher you to a special
waiting or treatment room to avoid exposing other children.
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