Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. The most common symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters and then scabs. The rash usually shows up on the face, chest and back first and then spreads to the rest of the body.
To help care for your child’s skin during chickenpox, Dr. Kurt Grelck, board-certified dermatologist at Forefront Dermatology in Stevens Point, Wisconsin recommends the following tips:
- Soak in colloidal oatmeal baths. Available at your local drugstore, colloidal oatmeal will help relieve some of the itch. Add the oatmeal under the faucet while the tub is filling with lukewarm – not hot – water.
- Apply a topical ointment, such as calamine lotion, petroleum jelly or another fragrance-free, anti-itch lotion.
- Consider giving your child an over-the-counter oral antihistamine formulated for children. Always follow the directions on the label, and use the correct dose.
- Keep your child’s fingernails trimmed short. This will help prevent skin infections caused by scratching the blisters. For young children, put socks or mittens over their hands to prevent scratching. Scratching can increase the chances of skin infection and spreading of the virus.
For most healthy children, chickenpox clears on its own without treatment. However, see a board-certified dermatologist if you have a newborn with chickenpox or if your child has a weakened immune system, has trouble breathing or if any of the blisters become infected.
At Forefront Dermatology, we know that life is all about the moments when you don’t need us. That’s why we’re here for all the moments when you do. We offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all skin conditions and create customized treatment plans for all ages – even the tiniest of patients! Find a location near you today.