As chicken pox is a benign disease that usually occurs in children below 15 years of age, the aim of treatment is treating the symptoms.
Usually, treatment of chicken pox takes place at home until the symptoms are worse.
Since the chicken pox is a contagious disease, the patient should stay at home until the new blisters have stopped coming and all the old sores have healed well.
Fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue will be seen in patients, who suffer from chicken pox.
Acetaminophen is a drug that helps the patients to reduce those symptoms.
Depending on weight, dose of acetaminophen will be given.
Never give a child, who suffers from chicken pox, aspirin or the drug that contains aspirin as this will lead to a dangerous condition called Reyes Syndrome.
Getting relief from chicken pox:
Numerous baths helps in improving itching. Lukewarm bath for every few hours is helpful to reduce itching. One cup of baking soda to bath water is also useful for itching. Adding oatmeal to the bath water reduces the skin irritation.
Do not rub the skin with towel after bathing. Put the patient in cool environment as the heat and sweat will make itching worse.
Since scratching causes the increasing risk of secondary bacterial infection, it is necessary to prevent scratching. Because children cannot control to scratch, they should wear mittens/gloves to reduce scratching and also their nails should be trimmed short.
Calamine lotion is most regularly used lotion for chicken pox. Apply this lotion or any over-the-counter lotion on the blisters to help dry blisters and soothe the skin.
Antihistamines like Benadryl, hydroxyzine, loratadine, cetirizine, and fexofenadine can be used to control itching. In those, Benadryl and hydroxyzine will cause drowsiness, which helps the patient to sleep at night. The remaining antihistamines can reduce the itchiness, but will not cause drowsiness.
The antiviral agent called acyclovir is used for the treatment of chicken pox. Acyclovir five times a day will decrease the new blisters formation and shows fast healing. This drug shows its effect only if given within 24-48 hours of onset of rash.
Acyclovir is the FDA accepted treatment for chicken pox. The antiviral agents such as famciclovir and valacyclovir also proved to be effective in treating chicken pox.
Once if the person gets infected from varicella zoster, it will remain in the body in an inactivated state. In twenty percent of people of fifty or over 50 years of age this virus may reactivate and cause shingles.
The American Association of Pediatrics recommended Varivax, a chickenpox vaccine, to prevent chicken pox. According to them, Varivax should be given to all healthy children between 12 months and 18 years.
Children between 12 months and 13 years should take one vaccination, who have not been immunized or who have not had chickenpox and the children of 13-18 years of age should receive second vaccination after 4-8 weeks.
It is recommended to give chicken pox vaccine with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine for those, who has not received childhood immunization and not vaccinated previously.