Health Tip: The Itch of Chickenpox

- Chickenpox is caused by a virus that most often affects children.

Symptoms, including the tell-tale itchy rash, usually go away without treatment. But there are steps you can take to help alleviate the discomfort.

The University of Maryland Medical Center offers these suggestions:

  • Never give children aspirin to treat chickenpox symptoms, as it can trigger a very dangerous condition called Reye syndrome. Acetaminophen can be taken for pain.
  • Take a lukewarm bath every few hours, or apply a cool compress to the skin. Try adding oatmeal to the bath to soothe irritated skin.
  • After bathing, don't rub the skin with a towel, just pat it dry.
  • Apply calamine lotion to the lesions, but avoid applying the lotion on the face.
  • For painful mouth blisters, eat soft, mild and bland foods, and beverages.
  • Ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter itch- and pain-relieving creams.

Posted: November 2007


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