How to Care for Children With Chickenpox
Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Although the incidence of chickenpox has declined significantly since the development of the chickenpox vaccine, there are still children who develop chickenpox every year, say dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology. Fortunately, there is a lot parents can do at home to help ease their children’s symptoms.
“The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the vaccine,” said board-certified pediatric dermatologist Sheila Fallon Friedlander MD, FAAD, a professor of pediatrics and dermatology at the University of California San Diego. “However, if your child still gets chickenpox, there are many ways to relieve his or her symptoms and prevent skin infections.”
According to Dr. Friedlander, 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.
Other signs and symptoms of chickenpox may include:
To help care for children with chickenpox, Dr. Friedlander recommends the following tips:
“For most healthy children, chickenpox clears on its own without treatment,” said Dr. Friedlander. "However, see a pediatrician or board-certified dermatologist if you have a newborn with chickenpox; if your child has a weakened immune system or has trouble breathing; or if any of the blisters become infected."
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 19,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), or YouTube(AcademyofDermatology).