7 Home Remedies For Chickenpox
Home Remedies For Chickenpox; How to prevent chickenpox naturally
Home remedies for chickenpox have been observed to be effective in the management of the condition. Chickenpox is an illness common amongst children and can be characterized by the presence of a rash of itchy red spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters and eventually forming scabs and drop off. Although it differs in children, some have just a few spots while others are covered in them. It is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. The virus is commonly found in children under the age of 10 and is easily spread in nurseries and schools. It is often confused with measles which has slightly different symptoms.
Although chickenpox is common, it can leave your little one feeling rather uncomfortable with itchy red spots. Although chickenpox clears up in maybe a week or so, it important to note that it can be very dangerous for some people, including pregnant women, newborn babies, and those with a weakened immune system. Reports show that 19% of adults are immune to chickenpox and that because chances are that they’ve already had it as a child but if you do have it as an adult the symptoms can be more severe.
The varicella-zoster virus works in a very interesting way, when it infects a person for the very first time it produces the chickenpox we are all used to know. But after it has been healed or defeated it doesn’t go away, as a matter of fact, it never goes away. The virus remains dormant in the lymph nodes for years before it reactivates and comes out in the form of a skin infection called shingles.
How does chickenpox spread?
Chickenpox has been known to be highly contagious, just having close contact with an infected person is enough for you to get the infection, well unless you already had it before.
The advantage of developing chickenpox is that once you have had it, you are safe from re-infection.
Human beings with chickenpox or shingles are the only known carrier of the varicella-zoster virus, the only source from which the virus spreads.
Scientists believe that the infection is transmitted via the respiratory system. An infected person spreads the virus through small drops of liquid, from saliva or open skin sores, which are transported through the air. When another person in the area takes a breath, the virus lands in the mucus of their respiratory system. If that person hasn´t had the virus before and their immune system hasn´t built up its defenses, he or she will likely become infected.
Other ways you can contact chickenpox:
- touching a contaminated surface
- touching contaminated bedding or toys (which is one of the main reason all of your children suffer from chickenpox at the same time)
- face-to-face contact with an infected person
- touching the pox or shingles rash with your hands
- being in the same room as someone with chickenpox for more than 15 minutes(because the virus travels through the air)
What are the symptoms of chickenpox?
When you make contact with someone infected with chickenpox for the first time you might not notice any symptoms then because there is an incubation period that lasts between 10 and 22 days before the symptoms appear. Afterward, you will experience some flu-like symptoms for a few days (one or two days), with fever and general discomfort but no lesions on the skin. But the key and main symptom of chickenpox is a Rash in the form of very itchy blisters.
Other symptoms to look out for:
- Loss of appetite
- a temperature rise
- feeling sick
- aching muscles
How to treat chickenpox?
Chickenpox does not have a treatment, what you could do is control the symptoms that is why we have listed this best home remedies for chickenpox management. Because the disease is a viral disease (caused by a virus), it cannot be treated with antibiotics, however, even antiviral therapy isn’t necessary in most cases, and is only administered to patients with complications, or in patients with severe underlying health conditions that would otherwise complicate the prognosis.
Home remedies for chickenpox
Although we said there was no cure for chickenpox but there are a couple of ways you could make your child or baby feel comfortable;
- Don’t scratch: This is very important because by doing so, the sores healed faster. But if you scratch it then the lesions and sores become infected.
- It is advised to use paracetamol to help relieve fever and any discomfort.
- Use calamine lotion to ease and reduce the itching, and cooling gels to dress your baby in loose cotton clothing.
- Advice your child or the patient to always cover his/her mouth if they cough or sneeze to prevent other people from catching the virus.
- Take a lot of water to keep hydrated.
- If they feel the urge to scratch so badly, it is advised they pat the pox rather than scratching as it could cause complications later.
- You could use Aciclovir (ACV), although it is a very expensive medication, it generally cuts the illness time down to a single day. If you use this treatment within the first 24 hours of the appearance of the initial rash, it decreases the appearance of new lesions by 25 percent.
What the difference between chickenpox and shingles?
Chickenpox and shingles are two similar infections and this is because they are both caused by the same varicella-zoster virus. If you had chickenpox when you were a kid, chances are that you are going to get shingles when you are an adult, but you cannot get chickenpox twice. You cannot catch shingles from someone else, however, you can catch chickenpox from someone suffering from shingles if you have not had chickenpox before.
According to the NHS, it is estimated one in four adults will suffer from shingles during their lifetime. It is not known why some people catch shingles, but in most cases, it is thought to be because of a weakened immune system.
The risk associated with chickenpox and pregnancy
If you are pregnant and have chickenpox, then you and your baby are at risk of some serious health issues. Developing chickenpox during pregnancy is one of the worst times for the infection to come because you are at risk of developing pneumonia.
For your baby, the risks depend on the timing. If chickenpox develops during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy — particularly between weeks eight and 20 — the babyfaces a slight risk of a rare group of serious birth defects known as congenital varicella syndrome. And mind you a baby who has congenital varicella syndrome is at risk of developing skin scarring, and eye, brain, limb, and gastrointestinal abnormalities. If chickenpox develops during the few days before you deliver to 48 hours postpartum, the baby might be born with a potentially life-threatening infection called neonatal varicella.
It is always advised that any woman who gets exposed to chickenpox during pregnancy and is not immune, should contact a health provider immediately. He or she might recommend an injection of an immune globulin product that contains antibodies to the chickenpox virus. When given within 10 days of exposure, the immune globulin should reduce the risk of its severity.
If you contact chickenpox during pregnancy, you should ask your health care provider for oral antiviral drugs, it should fasten your recovery. The medication is most effective when given within 24 hours of the rash developing. If you eventually have chickenpox when you give birth, your baby should be treated with an immune globulin product immediately after birth to try to prevent neonatal varicella. If your baby develops chickenpox in the first two weeks of life, antiviral drugs might be given as well.
Complications associated with chickenpox
When considering pregnancy and you haven’t already had chickenpox or been vaccinated, ask your health care provider about the chickenpox vaccine. It’s safe for adults, but it’s recommended that you wait until three months after your second dose of the vaccine before trying to conceive. If you’re not sure whether you’re immune, your health care provider can do a blood test to find out if you’re immune or have already had the vaccine.
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The most common complication someone with chickenpox can ever suffer is a secondary infection caused by the staphylococci and streptococci bacteria. The patient often contaminates and spreads the infection themselves by scratching the blistered areas. This is the reason why we advised earlier among the home remedies for chickenpox not to allow your kids to scratch the pox. Another rare complication of chickenpox is cerebellitis, which involves the central nervous system. This occurs within a week from the appearance of the rash, or generalized encephalitis, or aseptic meningitis.