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Chicken Pox

Chicken Pox

DEFINITION

Chickenpox is a very contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

It mainly affects kids, but adults can get it, too. The telltale sign of chickenpox is a super-itchy skin rash with red blisters. Over the course of several days, the blisters pop and start to leak. Then they crust and scab over before finally healing.

Symptoms appear within 10 to 21 days after you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus.Most people recover in about 2 weeks.Chickenpox is generally mild, especially in children.But in severe cases, the blisters can spread to your nose, mouth, eyes, and even genitals.

SYMPTOMS

An itchy rash is the most common symptom of chickenpox.

The infection will have to be in body for around 7 to 21 days before the rash and other symptoms develop. They start to be contagious to those around up to 48 hours before the skin rash starts to occur.

The non-rash symptoms may last a few days and include :

  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of appetite

One or two days after experience these symptoms, the classic rash will begin to develop.

The rash goes through three phases before recover. These include :

  • They develop red or pink bumps all over your body.
  • The bumps become blisters filled with fluid that leaks.
  • The bumps become crusty, scab over, and begin to heal.

The bumps on body will not all be in the same phase at the same time. New bumps will continuously appear throughout infection. The rash may be very itchy, especially before it scabs over with a crust.

They are still contagious until all the blisters on body have scabbed over. The crusty scabbed areas eventually fall off. It takes seven to 14 days to disappear completely.

COURSE OF THE SYMPTOMS WHEN THEY START TO APPEAR

The symptoms of a chickenpox infection appear around 7 to 21 days after exposure to the varicella-zoster virus.The early symptoms of chickenpox are vague and include a headache, tiredness, fever, appetite loss, nausea and body aches.

Following these symptoms, rash and eruptions appear on the skin. The eruptions are fluid-filled vesicles/blisters or pustules (pus-filled eruptions). The eruptions break open and ooze the liquid. Afterward, crusts form over the eruptions. At a given time the blistered eruptions, as well as crusted eruptions both, may be present simultaneously.

The eruptions firstly develop on the face, torso followed by their spread to other body parts. The eruptions can be severely itchy. But scratching the eruptions should be avoided as it increases the chances of severe skin infection.In severe cases, the eruptions can spread to the eyes, throat and the mucous membranes of anal area and urethra.

It usually takes around 7 to 10 days for all the eruptions to heal and get covered with scabs.A person with chickenpox is contagious from one to two days before the eruptions appear and continue being so until all the eruptions get scabbed over.

CAUSES

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes the chickenpox infection. Most cases occur through contact with an infected person.The virus is contagious to those around you for one to two days before your blisters appear.VZV remains contagious until all blisters have crusted over.

The virus can spread through :

  • Saliva
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Contact with fluid from the blisters

They spread very easily. They can get the virus by breathing in particles that come from chickenpox blisters or by touching something on which the particles landed.Chickenpox is most contagious from 1 to 2 days before the rash appears until all the blisters are dried and crusted.

The best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to get the varicella vaccine.Children who’ve never had chickenpox should get two doses of the vaccine - the first at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second between ages 4 and 6 yrs.People over age 13 who’ve never been vaccinated should get two doses of the vaccine at least 28 days apart.

RISK FACTORS

Exposure to the virus through previous active infection or vaccination reduces risk. Immunity from the virus can be passed on from a mother to her newborn. Immunity lasts about three months from birth.

Anyone who has not been exposed may contract the virus.Risk increases under any of these conditions:

  • They have had recent contact with an infected person.
  • They are under 12 years of age.
  • They are an adult living with children.
  • They have spent time in a school or child care facility.
  • They immune system is compromised due to illness or medications.

COMPLICATION

Chickenpox can lead to complications including

  • Pneumonia
  • Dehydration
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Encephalitis
  • Bacterial skin infection.

If a pregnant woman gets chickenpox, then certain complications may arise in the baby including :

  • Low birth weight
  • Brain damage
  • Shortened limbs
  • Vision problems like cataract or a life-threatening chickenpox infection.

DIAGNOSIS

  • Doctors generally diagnose chickenpox based on the rash.
  • If there's any doubt about the diagnosis, chickenpox can be confirmed with laboratory tests, including blood tests or a culture of lesion samples.

HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICATION FOR CHICKEN POX

  1. Antimonium tartaricum

    This remedy may be indicated when eruptions are large and slow to emerge. The child feels sweaty, fussy, and may be nauseous with a white-coated tongue. If chest congestion with a rattling cough develops, or a bubbly sound on breathing, Antimonium tart is likely to be the appropriate remedy.

  2. Pulsatilla

    A child who needs this remedy is often sweet and tearful when ill and wants a lot of attention and comforting. Itching and other discomforts are worse from warmth and in stuffy rooms, and improved by cool fresh air. The person is rarely thirsty, even during fever.

  3. Sulphur

    If itching is so severe that the person finds it impossible to keep from scratching—or if eruptions have a nagging, burning pain—this remedy may bring relief. The symptoms (and the person) become worse from warmth and aggravated after bathing. Both heat and chills are felt during fever. The person may feel drowsy in the afternoon and restless and hot at night.

  4. Urtica urens

    Eruptions with stinging, burning pain and itching may be relieved by this remedy. Symptoms are aggravated by exertion and from overheating.

  5. Antimonium crudum

    A child who needs this remedy usually is irritable and may object to being touched or looked at. The eruptions are sore, and touching them may bring on shooting pains.

  6. Apis mellifica

    When this remedy is indicated, the skin around the eruptions is pink and puffy and very itchy, with stinging pains. The eyelids may also be swollen. The person feels worse from warmth, is irritable, and usually is not thirsty.

  7. Belladonna

    This remedy is indicated when a child is hot and feverish, with a red flushed face, and eyes that are sensitive to light. A pounding headache may be felt, accompanied by either restlessness or drowsiness. The rash usually is red, with a feeling of heat and throbbing.

  8. Bryonia

    When fever persists for several days during chicken pox, and a dry nagging cough develops, this remedy may be useful. The person's mouth is dry, with thirst for long cold drinks. The person may be very grumpy, feel worse from motion, and dislike being interfered with in any way.

  9. Mercurius solubilis

    This remedy may be indicated if eruptions are large and become infected. The child is very sensitive to temperature changes and feels worse at night. Perspiration and drooling during sleep, swollen lymph nodes, and offensive breath are strong indications for Mercurius.

  10. Rhus toxicodendron

    This remedy is useful in cases of chicken pox with tremendous itching that is worse from scratching and relieved by warm baths or applying heat. The child may be very restless, both physically and mentally. The eyes may become inflamed and sticky. Muscles can ache and feel very stiff, also relieved by warmth and gentle motion.