Chicken Pox

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Children need ample care when down with chicken pox

"Mom, look at this bubble on my belly," said seven-year-old Snigdha rushing to her mother. "I feel itchy though," she continued. That was enough to make alarm bells ringing and a consultation with the family doctor confirmed the fears of chicken pox.

The mandatory one-week rest and isolation were uncalled for when examinations were round the corner. But then, chicken pox is rampant during the onset of summer when the virus multiplies rapidly. Varicella zoster is a contagious virus that spreads through touch or air, while sneezing or coughing. The virus expresses itself in about seven to14 days of entering the body.

To start with it, the child might suffer from common cold and feel inactive during the first two days when the eruptions, water-filled vesicles develop on the abdomen and the back. The vesicles then appear all over the body including the scalp, and mucus membranes of the oral cavity.

The child could have temperature of about 100F but this could go up to 104F if bacterial infection intervenes. Eruptions appear over the body as fine dots to start with and later get filled with fluid. If scratched, it can lead to pus formation. Itching is the most troublesome symptom that compels the child to scratch. This can in turn leave to a scar in the long run.

Chicken pox is a self-limiting infection that subsides in seven days. It could appear in adults too in an aggravated condition. Women having it during the first three months of pregnancy need to be careful but if it occurs during the later part, the foetus could develop resistance to the infection as antibodies are circulated from the mother.

It could be disturbing in immuno-compromised individuals and lead to other complications. This virus can remain latent even for a couple of decades in the body and cause a condition called shingles or herpes zoster when all along the course of the nerve, painful eruptions appear. A person suffering from shingles can also transmit chicken pox to others.

Management and treatment

* Wet or warm compresses can be applied over the body to relieve itching. Patting should be done but rubbing of the body should be avoided.
* Children should be advised no to scratch the area.
* Soft and semi-solid food should be encouraged especially if the child has blisters in the mouth.
* Oily and spicy foods should be avoided. Whole-cooked meal should be given to the child.
* If the child is prone to cold and cough, intake of cold foods should be deterred.


Homoeopathic medicine has good remedies to see that there is no flare-up of the infection. Mild remedies like Apis mel, Urtica urens, and Rhus tox are suggested when itching is troublesome. When there is pus formation, Hepar sulph is indicated. A child prone to cold and cough, when given Pulsatilla during the attack, can prevent complications of the respiratory tract.


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