Chickenpox is a common skin disease caused by a viral infection. The virus is called varicella – zoster virus. Most people get infected by chickenpox by the age of 15, the majorities pass through the illness between the ages of 5 and 9, but it can as well infect people of all ages.
The disease is transmitted airborne, from person to person through sneezing, coughing, staying together with someone sick. Sometimes it cannot be known that we have been in contact with someone ill, since the person can be infected for 5 days before a rash appears and it continues throughout the entire course of the disease. The incubation period is 10 to 21 days (this is the time in which we can develop the disease after contact with a sick person).
What are the signs and symptoms?
Symptoms appear 14 to 16 days after contamination with the virus. Chicken pox is characterized by one or two days of mild fever with up to 38.9˚ C/ 102.2˚ F temperature, complemented by overall feeling of fatigue and a rash, which is often the first sign of the disease. Rarely someone may have measles without having a rash. The chicken pox rash develops with the appearance of red spots, after which bubbles appear, bursting and becoming open wounds before they get covered with crust. This process usually begins on the skin of the head, then passes to the body (the area with the highest concentration) and finally strikes the arms and legs. The rash is usually accompanied by very intense itching.
What are the treatment options for chicken pox?
Most treatment options for chicken pox are directed to reducing the symptoms of itching of the skin. A home procedure that can be done is oatmeal baths to reduce the itching. In addition, soothing lotions and moisturizers can be used topically to relieve the symptoms of the rash. It is appropriate to bathe without soap or with a decoction of sumac in the bath 2 or 3 times a day, which also leads to short-term relief. In addition to drugs, there are other precautionary measures and are as necessary. For young children it is important to keep their nails trimmed to minimize the damage resulting from scratching and also in order to control the risks of secondary bacterial infections. Various drugs can be applied to drop the temperature, but NEVER use aspirin to reduce the pain or fever of children with chicken pox or other viral illnesses. The use of aspirin is associated with a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome, which can lead to liver problems or even death.
To relieve the symptoms of chicken pox use plants and herbs: chamomile, pine, blackberries, wild forest strawberries, walnuts, oats and others.
Infusions: 3 tablespoons of wild strawberries extract is added to 1 liter of boiling water. It is boiled for 10 minutes and then strained. This decoction must be drunk 3 times daily, thus facilitating faster recovery of the body that suffers from chicken pox.
A common treatment used to cope with chicken pox is the compress of pine honey. Also people can prepare compresses with walnuts: the walnut kernels are crushed then left to stand for 1 day and then put on the pimples. And another type of compress is made with chamomile: 50 grams of the herb is boiled in 200ml water. Then the compresses are soaked in and placed on the skin.
After the illness, patients develop a lasting immunity and are no more endangered to the disease. Exceptions of relapse after chicken pox are rare.