It is quite common among children to have chicken pox or varicella. One can easily get infected with this viral disorder through contact with people who are already stricken with chicken pox. It can easily be spread through coughing and sneezing since it is an airborne disease. This may explain why it is so common in children.
All fingers point to the herpes varicella zoster virus (VZV) as the culprit behind chicken pox. As mentioned, chicken pox commonly affects children. Though this will heal in time, the virus remains in the body particularly in the nerve tissues. This dormant virus may be reactivated during adulthood but shows itself this time as shingles or herpes zoster.
Symptoms of Chicken Pox
The most obvious sign that you have chicken pox are red itchy rashes all over the body more commonly on the torso to the face and limbs. These rashes usually become blisters then scabs that will dry up or heal in ten days. However, the virus itself may last up to two weeks or until all the sores have sprung up and healed. Other chicken pox symptoms include stiff neck, fatigue, lethargy, fever and loss of appetite.
Once a person gets chickenpox, the most important thing to do is to isolate him or her. This is simply because of its contagiousness. This will help prevent other people, especially pregnant women, from contacting the disease. The best action against chicken pox is to just wait it out and avoid contact with other people. However, there are some steps one can take to treat the symptoms.
Medications specifically for chicken pox may be administered for pregnant women and those with weak immune system. Such drugs may help shorten the time that the chicken pox symptoms are present.
Normally, chicken pox vaccines are given to newborn babies as a form of protection against the disease.
For the itching and swelling, medical professionals often prescribe antihistamines and painkillers that are available over-the-counter.
Baking soda is a natural remedy for chicken pox. Simply dissolve half a tablespoon of baking soda in water and use the solution to wash the affected areas using a sponge or clean cloth. Oatmeal can also be used for bathing to relieve the itchiness. Mix two cups of finely ground oatmeal with two liters of water. After a while, pour it into a cloth bag and tie tightly before placing it in enough warm water for a bath. Wait until the water turns white before soaking in it.
Another home remedy for the itchiness that accompanies chicken pox is Indian lilac or neem. This herb has antiviral properties which makes it effective in treating blisters and itching. Make a paste out of the leaves of the Indian lilac which is then applied directly on the affected areas. Honey may also help in dealing with the itching. Just dab some honey on the affected area up to thrice a day to relieve the itching and help heal the scars. Brown vinegar may also be used to heal the scars and treat the rashes. Half a cup of brown vinegar mixed in warm bathwater will do the trick.