Does your child have Chickenpox? Do they have itchy red spots all over? Let us try to help you!

Here’s some information about Chickenpox and what our qualified GPs can offer to you!

What is Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a mild and common childhood illness that most children catch at some point.

It causes:

  • A rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters.
  • These then crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off.

Some children have only a few spots, but other children can have spots that cover their entire body.

These are most likely to appear on the face, ears and scalp, under the arms, on the chest and belly, and on the arms and legs.

In most children, the blisters crust up and fall off naturally within one to two weeks.

 

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KEY TIP:

Chickenpox can be incredibly itchy, but it’s important for children (and adults) to not scratch the spots, to avoid future scarring. One way of stopping scratching is to keep fingernails clean and short. You can also put socks over your child’s hands at night.

Causes

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. You catch it by coming into contact with someone who is infected.

Chickenpox is a very contagious infection. Around 90% of people who have not previously had chickenpox will become infected when they come into contact with the virus.

The virus is also contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This can also contaminate surfaces or objects.

Treatment

Chickenpox in children is considered a mild illness, but your child will probably feel pretty miserable and irritable while they have it.

Your child may have a fever for the first few days of the illness. The spots can be incredibly itchy.

There is no specific treatment for chickenpox, but there are pharmacy remedies that can alleviate symptoms. These include paracetamol to relieve fever, and calamine lotion and cooling gels to ease itching.

When to see a GP

For most children, chickenpox is a mild illness that gets better on its own.

However, some children can become more seriously ill with chickenpox and need to see a doctor.

Contact your GP straight away if your child develops any abnormal symptoms, such as:

  • If the blisters on their skin become infected 
  • If your child has a pain in their chest or has difficulty breathing

Chickenpox may be a childhood illness, but adults can get it too. Chickenpox tends to be more severe in adults than children, and adults have a higher risk of developing complications. It may be best to seek medical advice if you are an adult.

 

 

 

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