Chicken pox can be explained as a viral infection caused by the virus called Varicella Zoster virus (VZV). It causes appearance of itchy, blister-like rashes. Being a highly contagious infection, it can spread through contact with an infected person. Due to sneezing or coughing or by close contact with the infected person, you may get infected. The infection mostly spreads by touching the objects used by the patient. This infection is more common during the childhood. People who have not got the vaccination or who haven’t had the disease are more prone to get infected. The infection may cause serious complication in adulthood. However, these days, the number of cases and complications has decreased remarkably due to vaccination.
Causes of Chicken Pox
Varicella Zoster virus (VZV), a member of the herpes virus family, is the causative agent for chicken pox. The infection easily spreads by close contact with the patient and even due to sneezing or coughing the sufferer. The patient may become contagious 1-2 days prior to the appearance of blisters. They may continue to spread infection, until the blisters are crusted over.
Children below 10 are more likely to get this infection. In children, the disease is mild and recovers without causing any serious complications in most cases. Children with weak immune system due to certain illnesses or medicines like steroids and chemotherapy are more likely to develop severe chicken pox symptoms. In older children and adults, the symptoms may be more severe.
Symptoms of Chicken Pox
The infection tends to last for about 5-10 days. The signs and symptoms that may be noticed before the appearance of rash include loss of appetite, headache, fever, tiredness and malaise. Following this, there may be appearance of chicken pox rash in the form of raised pink or red bumps, which may break open over several days. The raised bumps may develop into fluid-filled blisters prior to breaking and leaking. There may be formation of crusts and scabs that cover the broken blisters. They may take a long period to heal. Appearance of new bumps may continue for several days. The symptoms are mild in case of healthy children. In severe cases, the rash may spread all over the body. The lesions may be formed in the eyes, throat and mucous membranes of vagina, urethra and anus.
Treatment for Chicken Pox
In healthy children, chicken pox heals without any treatment. Antihistamines may be prescribed in order to relieve itching. If there is a high risk of developing complications, then the doctor may prescribe medications to shorten the duration of infection. The antiviral drugs like acyclovir (Zovirax) or immune globulin intravenous (IGIV) can help lessen the severity of the symptoms, if administered within 24 hours after the appearance of rash. Other antiviral drugs such as valacyclovir (Valtrex) and famciclovir (Famvir) are helpful to reduce the severity of disease in case of adults.
Natural Treatment for Chicken Pox
You may certainly follow some natural treatment options to ease the symptoms of uncomplicated cases of chicken pox. They include self-care measures and home remedies.
You need to avoid scratching or rubbing the itchy areas, as it can cause damage to the skin. Keep the fingernails short and try to wear hand gloves at night. Avoid wearing rough clothing like wool over the itchy area. Rather prefer cool, loose bedclothes. Have bathes with lukewarm water using little soap. A skin-soothing oatmeal or cornstarch bath is recommended. After bathing, apply a soothing moisturizer to cool the skin. Avoid exposure to excessive heat and humidity for a prolonged period.
There are some simple home remedies that may prove to be helpful to relieve the symptoms of chicken pox. The ingredients needed for home remedies are easily available and they are known to give good results.
- Baking Soda: It can help control itchiness and irritation due to chicken pox. Mix well half tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Soak a sponge in this solution and apply onto the itchy parts. Allow it to dry on the body.
- Oatmeal: An oatmeal bath is one of the most popular home remedies to relieve itchiness from chicken pox. Prepare a fine powder of two cups of oatmeal and add it to 2 liters of water. Pour the mixture into a cloth bag and close it tightly. Drop this bag into the tub of warm water and swirl it until the water becomes milky in color. Soak in the bathwater for some time, which can help get relief from itchiness.
- Honey: Honey provides a great relief from itching as well as helps heal the chicken pox rashes earlier. Directly apply a good quality honey onto the affected areas. You may repeat the process 2-3 times a day, until the scars are gone completely.
- Sandalwood Oil: Sandalwood oil can be used to relieve various symptoms of chicken pox. Simply apply pure sandalwood oil onto the rashes. You may continue with this remedy until all the sores and scars go away.
- Indian Lilac: Indian lilac is known as margosa or neem. Due to its antiviral properties, it can be effectively used to treat chicken pox. It helps relieve itching and dry out the blisters. Apply a paste of neem leaves onto the blisters to get the results. Adding neem leaves in bath water is also found to be helpful.
- Carrot and Coriander: A soup prepared from carrots and coriander is beneficial for treating chicken pox. Take a cup of chopped carrots and one and half cup of fresh coriander and boil them in water for a few minutes. Strain and allow it to cool down. Drink this soup once in a day for about one month.
- Ginger: Ginger helps to stop itching and accelerate the healing process. You may add ginger powder to your bath water. You can also prepare a healthy drink by boiling small chunks of ginger in water.
- Marigold Flower: It is yet another effective home remedy to relieve itching. Mix 2 tablespoons of marigold flowers with 1 teaspoon of hazel leaves. Put the mixture into a cup of water and allow it to stand overnight. Grind the mixture thoroughly in the morning. Apply this paste directly on the rashes.
Activated Home Remedies for Chicken Pox
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