Conventional Medical Treatment for Chickenpox

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Description

Chickenpox is one of the most common childhood diseases. It is a highly infectious illness, characterized by a body-wide rash that strikes about two weeks after exposure to the varicella zoster virus (a member of the herpes zoster family). The virus can be spread through infected respiratory droplets or by touching open chickenpox sores. At first, the rash consists of small, itchy red bumps that appear on the torso. After a day or two, these bumps fill with fluid. In another day or two, the sores drain and scab over. During the first five days, however, new sores continue to appear, covering the body with a variety of bumps, fluid-filled sores, and small scabs. The condition is contagious until the last of the bumps have scabbed over.

Since you become immune to the virus after you’ve had it, and since most people get the illness during childhood, it is rare to see an adult with chickenpox. On the other hand, adults suffer more seriously from the virus than children do. The fever, rash, and fatigue that accompany adult chickenpox can force the frail and elderly into the hospital. Also, people with adult chickenpox often develop pneumonia as well. A pregnant woman can pass chickenpox to her unborn Child increasing the risk that the child will be born with a congenital malformation. Chickenpox is a highly contagious, itchy, uncomfortable infection that is spread through droplets from the nose and throat of the infected person. It shows up about 10 to 20 days after exposure to the virus and usually lasts about 4 days to a week. The rash is superficial and appears first on the chest, abdomen and back, gradually extending to other parts of the body. The rash goes through a series of stages, beginning as a red bump, making a blister then erupting with fluid and then making a scab. There may be an elevation of temperature, the extent of which may be closely related to the severity of the case as every case is different in severity.

Signs and Symptoms

An extremely itchy rash that progresses from small, red spots to fluid-filled sores, which rupture and develop scabs

Fever

Fatigue

Conventional Medical Treatment

A physician can diagnose the condition with a physical exam, but an office visit usually isn’t necessary. A phone call to your doctor to confirm the symptoms is typically enough. To prevent spreading the condition, keep the affected person away from other people until the rash disappears. Keep the skin clean with tepid baths, and apply calamine lotion directly to sores to reduce itching. Cool oatmeal baths with over-the counter oatmeal powders can also help relieve itching.

For children or adults with severe cases of chickenpox, or those with suppressed immune systems, acyclovir (an antiviral medication) may be prescribed.

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