Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Chickenpox

Chickenpox was once a ubiquitous part of childhood, but thanks to a vaccine, it has become less common. However, children still can and do get chickenpox. If you think your child could be infected, visit an urgent care center for an accurate diagnosis. Since chickenpox can be so contagious and can lead to complications, getting urgent care is crucial. Here is what you need to know.

What are the symptoms of chickenpox?

Before the classic chickenpox rash occurs, children may complain of fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite. They may also have a fever. After about one or two days of these symptoms, the chickenpox rash will appear. It usually starts as fluid-filled blisters on the face, back, and chest, and then spreads across the body. The rash can even affect the mouth, eyelids, and genitals. The rash associated with chickenpox can be extremely itchy. As the illness progresses, the blisters on the rash will turn to scabs.

How is it treated?

Chickenpox is a viral infection, so antibiotics are not effective. If you get urgent care for your child within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, an antiviral medication may be helpful. Calamine lotion and oatmeal baths can help to control the nagging itching. Most children will recover from chickenpox with just rest. Because scratching the rash can cause it to spread and lead to scarring and infection, keep your child's nails trimmed. Watch the rash for signs of infection, including warmth, extreme redness, and pus.

Can chickenpox be prevented?

The chickenpox vaccine can significantly reduce the risk of infection, and when someone who is vaccinated does get the virus, it is much less severe. If your child has chickenpox, you can reduce the risk of infection in the community by keeping him or her home until they can no longer spread the virus. Generally, it takes about five to seven days for kids to no longer be contagious.

Do you suspect chickenpox? Get an answer fast with the help of Pediatrics After Hours. We're open when your child's doctor isn't, with four pediatric urgent care clinics across the DFW area. To find a clinic near you, call (214) 363-7242.

Categories: chickenpox

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