Chicken Pox

Symptoms and treatment of the common condition

Many people contract chicken pox in their childhood years and never think about it again. But for those who haven't had the condition, the risks associated with it and the severity of the condition both increase with age.

Getting the chicken pox vaccine is the best way to prevent getting the condition, but if you do contract it, there are measures you can take to help limit your suffering as the condition runs its course. Chicken pox can last anywhere from 4 days to a week, while the residue of the rash and bumps will diminish slowly over 20 days to a month.

Chicken Pox Symptoms

The most notable symptoms of chicken pox are the itchy red bumps that appear all over the skin, including the face and genitals. The bumps begin small and firm, but can fill with fluid, resembling blisters. The bumps can burst, releasing the fluid, and will then crust and become scaly.

Aside from the blisters, chicken pox symptoms include fever, sore throat, abdominal pain and headache. These symptoms will present before the bumps, but many people don't realize the condition is chicken pox until the bumps appear.

Chicken Pox Treatment

The best way to treat chicken pox is to avoid it altogether by getting the chicken pox vaccine. Most children receive the vaccine around the age of one or so, but those who never received the vaccine should get it at any age.

Chicken pox will generally run its course over time, so treatment is more about relieving the discomfort of the symptoms. Taking baths in soothing oatmeal, using acetaminophen to relieve pain and applying calamine lotion can all help in treating chicken pox by calming the skin and relieving symptoms of nausea and fever.

Treating chicken pox in adults is more of a challenge than in children. The disease is generally known as a childhood disease, and when adults contract it, it is often more severe. In light of this, antiviral medications may be used to treat the condition to help prevent complications from developing.

Chicken pox is also a concern for pregnant women. Chicken pox and pregnancy can be a dangerous combination that can cause serious complications for both mother and baby. If you contract chicken pox while pregnant, speak to your doctor immediately for advice on treatment.