Every parent is worried when their young children have chickenpox. Although many cases of the disease resolve themselves, there are ways to ease the discomfort of young people as their bodies fight the virus: simple strategies to follow at home and natural remedies that reduce itching, heal blisters and even eliminate the characteristic scars. On the other hand, take the child to the pediatrician if he has severe symptoms or has a compromised immune system.
Method 1 of 3: Getting a Basic Treatment at Home
Step 1. Don't let your child go to school
Children with chickenpox end up exposing others who have not yet had the disease and, therefore, have not been vaccinated. Therefore, you need to leave your child at home, resting and drinking plenty of water until he gets better. Put it on to watch a favorite movie or cartoon on the couch or bed.
- Leave your child at home for at least seven days after the first spots appear on the skin.
- Your child can go back to school when the blisters dry, but this takes longer than seven days in some cases.
Step 2. Keep your child hydrated
Give your child plenty of fluids (especially water) while he is sick, especially if he develops a fever or is sick. Use a mug or small bottle decorated with designs to make him more willing to drink.
Step 3. Give your child soft, easily digestible food
Unfortunately, many children also get chicken pox blisters in their throats. Your child will have difficulty swallowing if this happens, but just opt for softer foods that pass smoothly through the body. See some examples:
- Soups (vegetables and the like), chicken broth etc.
- Ice cream and yogurt.
- Pudding and cottage cheese.
- Soft breads.
- Avoid spicy foods, which make blister pain worse.
Step 4. Trim your child's nails so they don't scratch the skin
It may sound strange, but it's important to keep your child's nails very short so he doesn't pop the chicken pox blisters and end up scratching his skin. Ideally, the child does not even touch the affected areas, but having short nails helps a lot to reduce the risk of the infection getting worse.
Put kitchen gloves on your child's hands to prevent them from scratching their skin while they have chickenpox
Step 5. Give your child acetaminophen if he has a fever
Acetaminophen is a helpful pain reliever and lowers body temperature, as well as other uncomfortable side effects typical of chickenpox (such as lack of appetite). In any case, consult the pediatrician before giving any medication to the child.
- The dose of the oral medicine depends on the child's age and weight. Read and follow the pediatrician's prescription to the letter.
- Never give your young child aspirin. It's rare, but some children under the age of 18 who take the drug are susceptible to Reye's syndrome, which is at high risk.
Step 6. Give your child antihistamines to relieve the itching
Your child will be very uncomfortable with the blisters and sores from chickenpox. In that case, you can try to control the situation with over-the-counter antihistamines. Still, it's also about consulting your pediatrician before anything else just to be sure.
Again: follow the dosage of the pediatrician's prescription to the letter
Step 7. Ask the doctor if you can give your child Acyclovir if he is at high risk for complications
The antiviral Acyclovir, also sold as a cream, contains the advance of the chickenpox virus and reduces symptoms (such as blisters and sores). Treatment should start between 24 and 48 hours after the onset of skin reactions. Talk to the pediatrician and, if necessary, ask if he or she recommends the medication.
Method 2 of 3: Treating Itchiness and Blisters with Natural Remedies
Step 1. Apply calamine lotion to the blisters on your child's skin
Give your child a bath and then apply calamine lotion to the blisters on his or her body. The ointment makes itching much more tolerable and makes sleep more comfortable at night.
Apply a drop of lotion to each blister and rub in gently
Step 2. Rub ice cubes on the itchy places for ten minutes at a time
You can rub ice cubes on the bubbles if your child is very upset. In a way, the low temperature anesthetizes the region.
Step 3. Give your child a cold bath
A ten-minute cold bath helps relieve the itching and makes the child comfortable at the same time. However, don't stop your child from using warm water if he doesn't like cold water.
Just don't give or let your child take a hot bath, as exposure to high-temperature water can dry out the skin and make the itching of chickenpox worse
Step 4. Give your child an oatmeal bath
Oatmeal is another natural product that relieves chickenpox itch. It contains proteins, fats and sugar, which help to protect and moisturize your skin at the same time. Try using colloidal oats, which are thinner. Do the following:
- Grind 2 cups (180 g) of oats to a fine powder in a blender or food processor. This step is not essential, but it improves the absorption of the product by the water in the bath.
- Prepare a warm bath in the bathtub or large bowl and add the oats. Mix and wait about 15 minutes.
- Leave your child in the bath for 20 to 30 minutes, and when he's done, dry him with a towel.
Step 5. Give your child a baking soda bath
Baking soda is a natural acid neutralizer and therefore relieves itchy skin in your child. Do the following:
Prepare a warm bath and dissolve 1 cup (220 g) of baking soda for every 2.5 cm of water. Mix well and let your child soak for about 15 minutes. When he's done, dry him with a clean towel without rubbing the skin (so as not to make the itching worse again)
Step 6. Apply some medicinal honey to the blisters
The antibacterial properties and sugar present in honey reduce the itchiness of blisters and speed up the child's healing and recovery. Use Manuka honey, not the normal commercial product.
Wash your hands with warm soapy water and apply honey to each itchy blister three times a day
Step 7. Apply an aloe vera gel to the blisters
Aloe vera (from the aloe plant) rejuvenates the skin and fights infections. If your child develops a lot of chickenpox blisters, apply the product to the skin to contain the condition and speed healing and recovery. Do the following:
Wash your hands with warm soapy water and apply a drop of aloe vera gel to each bubble
Method 3 of 3: Understanding When It's Time to Seek Medical Treatment
Step 1. Take your child to a pediatrician if you think he or she has chickenpox
Even if you're absolutely sure that's the case, it's still good to talk to the doctor. He will rule out other possible causes of symptoms and, if necessary, prescribe the correct medications. Make an appointment beforehand and explain what you think is going on. The main symptoms of chickenpox are:
- Tiredness or general bad feeling in the body.
- Loss of appetite.
- Appearance of red spots on the skin over the days. These spots turn into blisters that burst and spread the infection further.
Step 2. Contact your pediatrician if the reaction moves from the skin to the eyes
It's rare, but chickenpox can infect other parts of the body, such as the eyes. Talk to your child's pediatrician or take your child to the emergency room right away if you notice lesions or red spots on their corneas while they are sick.
Pediatricians may also prescribe eye drops to relieve pain and inflammation in the eyes
Step 3. Take your child to the emergency room if he has severe symptoms
Chickenpox is usually not serious in healthy children, but it can lead to more stressful complications. Take your child to the emergency room or speak to the pediatrician immediately if you notice any of the items below:
- Dizziness or disorientation.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Tremors, muscle weakness or loss of coordination.
- Vomiting attacks.
- Stronger coughing fits.
- Stiffness in the neck.
- Fever greater than 39 °Celsius.
Step 4. See a doctor if anyone in your household has a compromised immune system
Chickenpox infections can be dangerous for those with weak immune systems. Consult the doctor if it is the case of someone in your household, as this person can be vulnerable.
- A person's immune system is compromised and weak for various reasons, such as AIDS, cancer and even certain drugs (steroids, chemotherapy drugs, etc.).
- Children under six months are also more vulnerable to the effects of chickenpox.
- Pregnant women who have never had chickenpox also need medical care and follow-up. This infection during pregnancy can lead to complications in the baby's development.