Chickenpox Facts

How Is It Treated?

When a child comes down with chickenpox, it's usually more uncomfortable than it is dangerous. Here are some things you can do to ease the discomfort:

  • Give your child oatmeal baths. This can relieve some of the itchiness.
  • Apply calamine lotion. Just like oatmeal baths, this can dull some of the discomfort.
  • Have your child take acetaminophen tablets. These tablets can help reduce the fever and general malaise. However, DO NOT give your child aspirin or salicylate (a compound found in aspirin) -- they can lead to Reye's syndrome, a disease that affects the liver and brain.
  • Ask your pediatrician about acyclovir. This is a medication that can make a case of chickenpox less severe if it's taken in the first 24 hours after the onset of the rash. However, it's usually only used for patients who are at risk of developing severe chickenpox, such as older children (and adults), kids with certain skin or lung diseases, or children taking other prescribed medications.
  • Don't let your child scratch! Scratching can pop the blisters before they heal and leave them prone to infection. Scratching also increases the possibility of scarring.

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