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Chicken Pox (Varicella)

Chicken pox is a highly contagious illness, generally affecting children in the age group of five to nine years. It is caused by the virus named varicella zoster. It begins in the form of a rash or a boil on a particular part of the body and gradually spreads to other parts. These boils turn into blisters within a week and either break or dry at the time of cure.

As soon as one spots a red boil, one should start taking treatment or practising home remedies to avoid the infection from spreading further. The number of children suffering from chicken pox has gone down heavily, as most of them are vaccinated against it. However, there are few who suffer from this illness for a week or two despite vaccination or due to lack of it.

In rare cases, chicken pox may result in meningitis – inflammation of protective membranes covering the brain and spinal chord.

Home Remedies for Chicken Pox
It is difficult to control the spread of chicken pox but as soon as you spot the symptoms, practice these home remedies. These are sure shot folk remedies to reduce itching and inflammation, and get some relief to the ailing body.

  • Applying calamine lotion on the affected areas is one of the most common and effective remedies.
  • It is important to calm the skin with cool cotton and soothe the inflammation due to chicken pox. Cotton is a soft fabric. Make sure that the patient wears full sleeves cotton shirt and pyjamas. This would prevent the patient from scratching.
  • In case of chicken pox boils in the mouth, gargling with salt-water solution is the best remedy. This solution would help to suppress the boils and keep the infection at bay.
  • According to doctor’s recommendation, it is advisable to take bland food during this time. Rice, pudding, porridge, soups, banana or jelly are few food items that can be taken if a person is suffering from chicken pox.
  • As far as possible, keep the patient in a cool place. High temperatures may only aggravate itching, making the situation worse.
  • The patient should be given a bath in lukewarm water at regular intervals. The person should soak in for about 20 minutes every time. Avoid using soap; instead one should add half a cup of sodium bicarbonate or finely ground oatmeal in the water. It would reduce the itching sensation.
  • Another useful home remedy for chicken pox is brown vinegar. Add half a cup of brown vinegar to bathing water. This will relieve the irritation and heal the boils/ lesions.
  • Neem leaves, too, help to relieve irritation and rashes on the skin. Add neem leaves to water, boil it and take a bath with this water.
  • Scratching can lead to scarring and infection. One more remedy to avoid scratching is pressing a wet, cool napkin against the affected, itchy area. Clip the nails or wear mittens/ gloves at night.
  • Smearing honey on the affected area will bring respite to irritable skin.
  • Keep the utensils and clothes of the patient separate to avoid spreading of chicken pox in the family.

Remember this:
If you see any symptoms of chicken-pox in your child or s/he has been recently exposed to someone who is already suffering from chicken pox, keep your child away from sun’s exposure. Sunshine or sun rays may make the boils or blisters even worse. The person who has just recovered from chicken pox would remain sensitive to the sun for about a year. Wear full-sleeves T-shirts or apply sunscreen at the time of going out during day time.

Practising above mentioned remedies should cure the disease between 10 and 14 days. However, if you find severe symptoms like high fever, vomiting, headache, convulsion, disorientation, neck pain or blisters suggesting infection, see your doctor immediately.

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