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36 Belmont Hill , Lewisham , London , SE13 5AY, Telephone: 020 3675 0752, Fax: 020 8297 2011

Lewisham

 

Chicken Pox

 

Chickenpox is a common illness that mainly affects children and causes an itchy, spotty rash.

Most children will catch chickenpox at some point. It can also occur in adults who didn't have it when they were a child.
 

The symptoms of chickenpox start one to three weeks after becoming infected.

The main symptom is a rash that develops in three stages:

spots – individual red raised spots develop on the face or chest before spreading to other parts of the body

blisters – over the next few hours or the following day, very itchy fluid-filled blisters develop on top of the spots

scabs and crusts – after a further few days, the blisters dry out and scab over to form a crust; the crusts then gradually fall off by themselves over the next week or two.

 

Chickenpox is contagious until all the blisters have scabbed over.

 

You or your child will probably feel pretty miserable and uncomfortable but there is usually no need to see a doctor.

There are things you can do at home to help with the symptoms:

• Use paracetamol to relieve fever and discomfort – DO NOT use anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen as they can sometimes make people with chickenpox very ill

• Use calamine lotion, moisturising creams or cooling gels to ease itching. These can be bought from a pharmacy.

• Tap or pat the skin rather than scratching it – it's important to avoid scratching because this can lead to further problems and scarring.

• drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated

 

Even though you don’t usually need to see a doctor it is a good idea to contact your GP or NHS 111 for advice if:

• You're not sure if you or your child has chickenpox

• Your baby is less than four weeks old and has chickenpox

• You develop chickenpox as an adult

• The symptoms haven't started to improve after six days

• You've been in contact with someone who has chickenpox (or you have symptoms) and you're pregnant or have a weakened immune system

• You or your child has signs of chickenpox complications, such as swollen and painful skin, difficulty breathing or dehydration.

 

For more information on fevers in children visit the NHS choices website by clicking the link below:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Chickenpox/Pages/Introduction.aspx

 

Adapted from NHS Choices

 
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