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Chickenpox:
How to Ease
the Itch
One of the oldest recorded
childhood diseases is
chickenpox. Just about
every kid is exposed to it at
one time or another. Here
are some ways to control
one of the most unbearable
of its symptoms - itching.
Symptoms of
Chickenpox
If you look closely,
the red bumps resemble
pimples. They are filled
with clear fluid that
turns cloudy. When they
eventually pop, they crust
and produce scabs as
they dry out.
Tose with chickenpox notice the
rash and itching more than anything
else
.
But, there are other symptoms
that children may feel such as fever,
sore throat, headache or abdominal
pain before the rash shows up
.
In rare
cases, chickenpox can lead to serious
bacterial or viral infections that afect
the brain, joints and bones
.
Chickenpox is highly contagious
.
Parents usually expose other
children if one child has it so that
they will all sufer together and then
it
'
s over
.
If your child has it, don
'
t let
them go to school as they can pass
the virus to others until the bumps
pop and scab over
.
Tis can take
about a week
.
Stopping the Itch
Chickenpox can be both itchy and painful
.
Scratching seems to bring some relief but
then the pain starts from all that rubbing
and scratching
.
Kids and parents are
miserable as they endure the fve or seven
days it takes for the condition to run
its course
.
Here are some ideas to stem
that itch and keep your child cool and
comfortable
.
Use calamine lotion
Tis works for other itchy rashes like
poison ivy by drying out the skin
.
Rubbing
your child down with it can provide
temporary relief from pain and itch
.
Take antihistamines
Te itching is a result of the body
'
s reaction
to the disease
.
It releases histamine which
leads to the itching
.
Over
-
the
-
counter
medications can block the release of
histamine so you feel less itchy over time
.
Oatmeal baths
Tis is an old but a good remedy for
chickenpox itch
.
Fill a tub with cool, but
not cold water
.
Hot water can increase
the pain and itch
.
Fill the tub with baking
soda and oatmeal
.
If you have it, use
pre
-
packaged colloidal oatmeal remedies
.
Allow your child to soak for about 15
minutes until they feel better
.
Use socks on the hands
It will be hard to keep kids from scratching
when they itch
.
Placing mittens or socks
on the hands prevents damage from being
done to the skin that will hurt later on
.
Chickenpox can become that much more
unbearable when the itching begins
.
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella
-
zoster virus
.
It usually occurs in children
.
You may notice an itchy red rash that
occurs all over the body and the face
.
Tese bumps are usually spread over the
body through scratching of the rash and
then touching unafected areas
.
Apr/May 2012
18