Chicken Pox

Chickenpox is a common illness, particularly among children. It is characterized by itchy red spots or blisters all over the body. While vaccination has significantly reduced the incidence of chickenpox, those who haven't been vaccinated or previously infected are at risk. The virus remains dormant in the body after the initial infection, and it can re-emerge later in life as shingles.

If you suspect chickenpox, contact your general practitioner, pediatrician, or infectious disease specialist. Our Dermatology Associates & Surgery Center skin experts can create a personalized treatment plan for scarring or skin-related issues during the recovery phase.

What are the Symptoms of Chickenpox?

  • Rash: Itchy rash or red spots on the face, chest, and back before spreading to other parts of the body.
  • Fever: Many individuals with chickenpox develop a moderate to high fever.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache: Headaches may occur.
  • Loss of Appetite: People with chickenpox may have a reduced desire to eat.
  • Sore Throat: A mild sore throat can occur.

Causes of Chickenpox

  • Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). 
  • It is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets from infected individuals. 
  • Direct contact with the fluid from chickenpox blisters can also transmit the virus. 
  • The virus can be airborne, making it easily transmissible in crowded environments. 


How to Prevent Chickenpox

Chickenpox can be prevented through vaccination. The varicella vaccine is highly effective in reducing the risk of infection and severity of the illness. It is typically administered in two doses, with the first dose given in childhood and the second in adolescence. Vaccination not only protects individuals from chickenpox but also contributes to community immunity, reducing the overall spread of the virus. Practicing good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, and avoiding close contact with infected individuals also help prevent the transmission of the varicella-zoster virus.

Chicken Pox FAQs

While chickenpox blisters can leave temporary scars, proper care and avoiding scratching can minimize scarring. It's important not to scratch the blisters to prevent infection and reduce the risk of scarring. Once the blisters crust over and heal, the risk of scarring diminishes.

In most cases, individuals with chickenpox can be managed by general healthcare providers, such as pediatricians or family medicine physicians. However, consultation with your dermatologist may be considered in situations involving complications, severe itching, or specific populations like pregnant women, adults, or immunocompromised individuals. If you have concerns about the course of the illness, contact your primary healthcare provider first, and they can involve specialists as needed.

To relieve itching from chickenpox, individuals can try the following:

  • Taking cool baths with added baking soda or colloidal oatmeal.
  • Applying calamine lotion to the affected areas.
  • Wearing loose, lightweight clothing to avoid further irritation.
  • Taking over-the-counter antihistamines (under the guidance of a healthcare professional) to reduce itching.

It's important not to scratch the blisters, as this can lead to infection and scarring.

How do you Treat Chickenpox?

Chickenpox treatment focuses on symptom relief. Antiviral medications may be prescribed to high-risk individuals, while calamine lotion, oatmeal baths, and antihistamines alleviate itching.

While dermatologists primarily specialize in skin conditions, they may not be the first line of care for chickenpox. General practitioners, pediatricians, or infectious disease specialists often manage chickenpox cases. However, if complications arise, or if there are concerns about scarring or skin-related issues during the recovery phase, one of our dermatologists may become involved in the treatment plan.