What is Chickenpox(Varicella)?
Varicella or Chickenpox got its name because the blisters look like chick peas. Varicella, or chickenpox, is one of the most common communicable childhood diseases caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Most people get chickenpox while they are still children.
Who’s at risk?
Chickenpox occurs most commonly in children under 10. Those under 1 year of age (whose mothers have had chickenpox before) are not usually infected, as they still have some immunity from their mother’s antibodies, which were transferred to them before birth.
The chickenpox vaccine has been part of routine childhood vaccinations (at age 12–18 months) since 1995, but many children have still not been vaccinated. About 85% of children who have been vaccinated avoid infection, but even if they do show symptoms, they are generally mild. Most infections occur from March to May.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Itchy rash all over the body with a fever. Chickenpox is contagious and is spread through the air, by coughing or sneezing, or even talking. It can also be spread by contact with fluid from the blisters. It usually takes 2-3 weeks from the time a child is exposed to chickenpox virus until he or she becomes ill. The disease is contagious from 1 or 2 days before the rash appears until all the blisters are dried up, which usually takes 4 to 5 days.
What are the complications?
Chickenpox is usually a mild disease. Rarely, serious problems do occur.
- The blisters can become infected, and some children get infection of the brain.
- If a woman gets chickenpox just before or after giving birth, her baby can get very sick, and about 1 in 3 of these children die if they are not treated quickly.
After a person has chickenpox, the virus stays in the body. Years later, it can cause a painful disease called zoster, or shingles.
What is the treatment?
The illness resolves on its own after 1–3 weeks. Avoid scratching, which can cause infection and scars.
- Oatmeal baths in lukewarm water
- Oral antihistamines
- Calamine lotion for application
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen to control fever.
- Keep the child at home and resting until symptoms are gone and all blisters are dried up.
- Avoid any contact between your child and pregnant women who have never had chickenpox, newborns, or people who have a weak immune system or eczema. If this group contracts the infection, they may need antiviral medication. This usually needs to be done early (during the first day of the rash).
- Seek medical help if the child has a severe cough, vomiting, headache, drowsiness, confusion, stiff neck, trouble looking at bright lights, or difficulty walking or breathing.
What would be the cost for the treatment?
The treatment cost depends on the type of treatment followed.
In general, a single consultation with Dr. Rinky Kapoor would cost you about INR 1000/-.
For more information on Dr. Rinky Kapoor’s work, click on:
About Dr. Rinky Kapoor
Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Co-founder of The Esthetic Clinic, is one of the best dermatologists in the world & currently practices in Mumbai, India. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr. Kapoor is trained at the National Skin Centre, Singapore & at Stanford University, USA. A celebrity skin doctor, Dr. Rinky Kapoor has won many honors such as “Best Dermatologist Mumbai”, “Top 10 Cosmetologist India”, etc for her evidence based expert dermatology care, affordable & reliable skin care, hair care & nail care …Read more
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