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What are the treatment options for chickenpox?

Answered by Dr Claire Winstanley
14th March 2016
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There is no cure for chickenpox, so the majority of treatment options focus on reducing the spread of disease and reducing the itching and discomfort that comes with the rash.

If a child with chickenpox also has a high temperature and is distressed, this can be reduced through giving them paracetamol. Aspirin should not be given to children under the age of 16 because there is a very small risk they can develop a condition called Reye’s syndrome if given aspirin when they have a viral illness like chickenpox. Ibuprofen is also not recommended for treating the symptoms of chickenpox because there’s a very small risk it can cause adverse skin reactions during chickenpox. Your pharmacist or GP may recommend an antihistamine called chlorphenamine to help relieve the itching. This is only suitable for children over one year old.  Cooling lotions or gels can also be used.

It is also important to try and keep your little one cool, as heat and sweating can often make itching worse and cause discomfort. This is also important in helping your child make a speedier recovery, as increased itching can lead to further scratching of blisters, making them sore and leaving them open to infection. Blisters are also more likely to scar if they are scratched off rather than left to heal naturally.

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