Friday, December 4, 2015

Chickenpox

What is chickenpox?

Chicken pox, a viral infection, is characterized by the development of itchy blisters all over the body. It is an extremely contagious condition affecting children and immunocompromised population.

What causes chickenpox?

Chickenpox is caused by the virus known as varicella zoster virus. It is a highly contagious condition and can easily strike individuals who have not received vaccination against the virus or those who live with children or individuals infected with the virus.

How does chickenpox spread?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious condition. It spreads quickly from an infected person to another person. It is an airborne disease which can spread when a normal person comes in contact with fluid oozing out of blisters from an infected person’s body. One can also contract chickenpox through the droplets that gets dispersed in the air when one sneezes or coughs.

What are the symptoms of chickenpox?

The classical symptom of chickenpox is the appearance of itchy blisters all over the body of the infected person. The rash typically first appears on the abdomen or on the face and back region. Thereafter, it spreads to other body parts which also includes the scalp area, genitals, mouth, arms as well as legs. The rash has a life cycle of 3 stages typically characterized by development of bumps, blisters and crusts. The bumps are usually red in color which resembles pimples. The blisters are filled with pus, which can spread the virus when one comes in physical contact.
In addition to the development of rashes, individuals also suffer from fever, headache, malaise and loss of appetite.

What is the treatment of chickenpox?

In healthy children, there is no specific treatment regime and the disease is allowed to take its own course for resolution. Only antihistamines are prescribed to relieve the itching caused due to blisters.
If there is a risk of complication to set in, then in such situations various other medications are also prescribed. These include, antiviral drugs such as valacyclovir, famicyclovir and acyclovir.

How can chickenpox be prevented?

Chickenpox can be prevented through the varicella vaccination. Those individuals who have received a vaccination against the virus are very well protected from the disease. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, confirms that the vaccine protects 90% of children from chickenpox. The varicella vaccine is recommended for young children, older children who have not received vaccine during young age and adults. In case, an individual has already suffered from an attack of chickenpox, then they need not get the vaccine shot.

What are the diet and lifestyle changes for chickenpox?

When the rashes have developed in the mouth, then a bland and soft diet is recommended. Other measures to relieve the itching goes as follows:
  • Bathing with baking soda added to water
  •  Applying calamine lotion on the rashes
What is Ayurvedic treatment of chickenpox?

Ayurvedic treatment for chickenpox is different for the first and second week. During the first week, individuals are given eladyaristha and swarnamakshikha. For the next week, 1 gram of haridra churna is given, which is to be taken with bitter gourd juice twice a day.  In addition to this, 100 grams of indukala vatika is also recommended which is taken twice a day.

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