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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Chicken Pox

Overview
Symptoms
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common Name/Other Name

Varicella (Eng.); bulutong-tubig (Tag.)

Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella zoster virus. Patients develop itchy blister-like rashes which first appear on the face and trunk, and then throughout the body. It is highly contagious and can easily spread from person to person by direct contact or through air by coughing or sneezing.

It is infectious 5 days before and 5 days after the appearance of blisters and it takes 10-21 days after contact with an infected person to develop chickenpox.

 

Symptoms
  • Appearance of reddish skin lesions which later become blisters on the 3rd - 4th day of fever
  • Weakness
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Chickenpox vaccine. It is prescribed by doctors to patients who are exposed to chickenpox within 3 days to lessen the severity of the disease and prevent potential complications associated to it.
  • Immunoglobin treatment. A solution containing VZIG (Varicella-zoster immunoglobulin) that has chickenpox virus antibodies, may be administered to patients at high risk of complications or very severe symptoms, including those with weak immune systems, pregnant women and newborns.
  • Antiviral medications. Example is acyclovir, may be prescribed to pregnant women, adults diagnosed early, newborns, and patients with weakened immune system. Antivirals can only be administered within 24 hours of the occurrence of rash.
  • Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to reduce pain or fever.
  • Oral antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine) to relieve itching.
Treatment and Management
  • Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to avoid dehydration.
  • Control itching by taking oatmeal baths, applying cool compresses, calamine lotion or cooling gels and by wearing comfortable light clothing.
  • Minimize scratching to prevent future scarring of the skin.
Home Remedies
Lifestyle Modification
  • Observe proper hygiene. Wash hands always and keep finger nails clean to prevent skin infection to spread.
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