Chickenpox, What to Avoid and what not to avoid
Chickenpox is one manifestation of the varicella-zoster virus.
The same virus is also responsible for herpes zoster, an infection more commonly known as shingles.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious and uncomfortable disease characterized by symptoms such as fever, nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps, and a rash of itchy red bumps, scabs, and blisters that covers the body.
Sometimes, additional complications can develop, including ulcers, hepatitis, pancreatitis, pneumonia, and even stroke.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious and uncomfortable disease that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that is responsible for shingles.
While vaccines have reduced the number of people who contract chickenpox each year, not many medications currently show potential to treat the varicella-zoster virus directly.
One review of 6 studies measuring the effectiveness of chickenpox treatments in humans found that taking acyclovir orally within 24 hours of the onset of chickenpox symptoms might help treat the infection in healthy children and adults.
A second review found similar results. Plus, a review of 11 observational studies in humans noted that oral acyclovir appears to treat chickenpox, although only when administered within the first 24 hours.
Acyclovir is an antiviral medication that is typically consumed orally in the form of a pill, or as a topical ointment that is applied to the infected area.
Given that there are not many treatment options for chickenpox aside from acyclovir, caring for someone with chickenpox usually centers around symptom management and pain relief.
Some of the most common ways in which you may try to manage the symptoms of chickenpox include:
using acetaminophen to reduce fever, although taking other medications with chickenpox, including aspirin and ibuprofen, has been linked to potentially lethal side effects in children
avoiding scratching the rash to keep the infection from spreading
relieving pain and itching with a cool bath or calming lotions
eating a variety of easy-to-tolerate healthy foods staying hydrated
Not many pharmaceutical options treat chickenpox once you have become infected with the virus. Treatment often centers around managing symptoms.