Chickenpox (varicella), a viral illness characterised by a very itchy red rash, is one of the most common infectious diseases of childhood. It is usually mild in children but there is a risk of serious complications, such as bacterial pneumonia.
Chickenpox is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus. It is spread by droplets from a sneeze or cough, or by contact with the clothing, bed linens or oozingblisters of an infected person. The onset of symptoms is 10 to 21 days after exposure. The disease is most contagious a day or two before the rash appears and until the rash is completely dry and scabbed over.
Symptoms of chickenpox
It usually takes between one and three weeks for symptoms to appear after becoming infected (the incubation period).
Sometimes other symptoms may start a day or two before the rash appears.
These can include:
- feeling tired and generally unwell
- a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or over
- feeling sick
- a headache
- aching, painful muscles
- loss of appetite
Not everyone has these symptoms. They tend to be more common and more severe in older children and adults with chickenpox.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda can help control the itchiness and irritation from chickenpox.
- Stir one-half tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Use a soft washcloth to put the solution on the affected parts of the body and allow it to dry.
- Another option is to mix one-half or one cup of baking soda in your bath water and soak in it.
2. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as margosa or neem is useful in the treatment of chicken pox as it has antiviral properties. Furthermore, it helps dry out the blisters and relieves itching to a great extent.
Take a handful of neem leaves, crush them and apply the paste on the affected areas. Adding neem leaves in bath water is also beneficial.
3. Carrots and Coriander
A soup made of carrots and coriander is highly beneficial in the treatment of chickenpox. It is rich in antioxidants that help in the healing process.
- Cut up 100 grams of carrots to get about a cup of chopped carrots and chop 60 grams or one and one- half cup of fresh coriander leaves and boil them in about two and one-quarter cup of water until half the amount of water evaporates.
- Drink the soup once a day for about a month. You can also eat the boiled carrots and coriander leaves for added strength.
An oatmeal bath is a popular home remedy for itchiness caused by chickenpox.
- Grind two cups of oatmeal into a fine powder.
- Put the powdered oatmeal in two liters (one-half gallon) of lukewarm water.
- Soak in the bathwater for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Brown Vinegar
One of the most effective remedies for treating chicken pox is brown vinegar. It will relieve skin irritation and help heal the lesions and prevent scarring.
Simply add one-half cup of brown vinegar to lukewarm bathwater, and soak in the bath for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Honey will provide relief from itchiness and help heal the blisters caused by chickenpox.
- Get a good quality, pure honey and coat the affected area with it.
- Repeat the process two to three times a day until the scars are gone.
7. Herbal Tea
You can also try mild and sedative herbal tea made from herbs such as chamomile, holy basil, marigold and lemon balm.
- Put one tablespoon of any of these herbs in a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for a few minutes and then strain it.
- Add a little cinnamon, honey and lemon juice and sip the tea slowly.
- Drink this herbal tea a few times a day for best results.
8. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is another effective remedy to reduce skin irritation and itching caused by chickenpox.
- Dilute a little lavender essential oil with carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil and apply it on the affected areas and leave it on until it dries. Repeat twice daily.
- Another option is to add a few drops each of lavender and chamomile essential oils in lukewarm water and soak in this bath for about 10 minutes.
9. Sandalwood Oil
Sandalwood oil can be beneficial in the treatment of chickenpox sore due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It will also help fade chickenpox scars.
Simply add a few drops of pure sandalwood oil to a teaspoon of a carrier oil like almond oil and apply on the rashes. Do this regularly until all the sores and scars heal completely.
10. Calendula Flowers
Calendula, also known as marigold flowers can also be used to relieve the itching caused by chickenpox.
- Put two tablespoons of calendula flowers and one teaspoon of witch hazel leaves in a cup of water and let it sit overnight.
- In the morning, grind the mixture thoroughly.
- Apply the paste directly on the rashes.
- Rinse it off when it dries completely.