Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by a virus known as varicella-zoster (VZV). The most common symptom of chicken pox is a blister-like rash that first appears on the stomach, back, and face and then spreads to the rest of the body. These blister-like rashes are often itchy and can be accompanied by other symptoms like fever, fatigue and loss of appetite. Everyone can get chickenpox, although it is mainly known to affect younger children and adults. The virus typically clears up within two to three weeks. Once it does, the body becomes immune to the virus. However, dealing with the symptoms can be very frustrating, especially the rashes. The good news is there are home remedies you can use that soothe itching and prevent scarring.
Oatmeal baths are not only soothing, but they also help to relieve the itchy feeling caused by blister-like rashes. Additionally, soaking your body with oatmeal can help to moisturize your skin.
- Grind two cups of oats using a food processor or a coffee grinder to make the flakes very small.
- Soak the oat flakes in four cups of water for 5-10 minutes.
- Once the mixture turns milky, pour it into a bathtub filled with water and soak in it for 20 minutes.
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Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera has been used for years as a soothing agent for different health conditions. The gel contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the itchy feeling caused by the blister-like rash. 5 Benefits Of Aloe Vera Gel
- Slice the leaf from the side and extract the gel.
- Apply the gel on the rashes about two to three times daily and leave it on for a couple of hours.
- Transfer the rest of the gel to an airtight container and place the container in the fridge. The gel will be safe to use for up to seven days.
Baking Soda Bath
Baking soda contains anti-microbial properties that help the blister-like rashes to heal faster. It also soothes inflammation and itchiness caused by the rash. Alternatively, you can choose to add an antiseptic liquid like Savlon or Dettol to the bath. Lifestyle: 22 Different Uses Of Baking Soda Around The House
- Add one cup of baking soda or antiseptic liquid to a bathtub with warm water and soak in it for 10 minutes.
- You can do this every day can help the rashes heal faster.
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Calamine lotion is considered one of the best remedies for chickenpox. The lotion contains skin-soothing properties like zinc oxide that help to reduce itchiness and inflammation.
- Use a cotton swab or clean finger to spread the lotion on the itchy areas.
- Avoid applying the mixture around the eyes to prevent irritation. For better results, you can add lavender oil to the lotion.
Boiled Guava Leaves
Guava leaves have been used for years in Chinese medicine to soothe skin irritation. The leaves contain anti-microbial properties and are also rich in vitamin C. These properties help to lessen the blister-like rashes and prevent scarring.
- Boil ten fresh guava leaves for 10 minutes.
- Strain the liquid and add honey.
- Drink the tea while it is warm.
If you struggle with hyperglycemia or heart disease, avoiding this remedy is best since the tea lowers blood pressure levels.
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There are essential oils that contain anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Combined with carrier oils, they can help soothe and heal blister-like rashes. You can choose to use oils like tea tree or eucalyptus and mix them with either coconut or almond oil.
- Mix an essential oil of your choice with a carrier oil and apply the mixture to the rashes.
- Leave it on until your next bath or shower.
- You can apply this mixture 2-3 times daily for better results.
Honey is also a good remedy for itchy rashes. It not only reduces the urge to scratch but also prevents scarring. Health: 8 Benefits Of Honey You Should Know About
- Apply raw honey to the rashes and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
- Wipe with a wet cloth or wash it off with water.
Cold compresses also help to soothe inflammation and itching, especially during the first days.
- Wrap an ice pack or ice cubes in a clean towel and gently dab on the affected areas.
- You can do this twice or thrice a day.
You can also opt to use chamomile compresses. Chamomile contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Brew two chamomile bags and allow the tea to cool.
- Dip a cotton pad in the tea and apply it on the itchy areas.
Green peas are rich in vitamins B6, C and folic acid. These three properties help to reduce itching and inflammation.
- Boil 200 grams of peas and crush them into a paste.
- Apply this paste of peas gently on the rashes.
- Leave the paste for about an hour, then take a warm bath.
- You can do this once every day.
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Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E is known to be a good hydrant for the skin. It helps to get rid of dead skin cells and dark marks on the skin. Additionally, the oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to heal blister-like rashes. The trick is to use it during the first stages to prevent scarring. Health: The Benefits Of Vitamin E, Myths And Precautions
- Take a couple of capsules and prick them.
- Apply the oil on the rashes and leave it on. You can apply this oil 2-3 times each day.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Chickenpox symptoms are usually not a cause for concern. Once the virus has run its course, the chances of reoccurrence are usually very low. However, if you have never dealt with chicken pox or are unsure what to give your child for the fever, you should consult a doctor.
You should also seek medical attention if:
- The rash spreads to your eyes, or you notice the rashes getting tender and warm.
- You notice other significant symptoms like high fever, difficulty breathing, vomiting, pus oozing from the sores and severe abdominal pain.
- You are pregnant.
- You have other medical conditions, so you can get advice on whether you need anti-viral medication.
Foods to Avoid When Dealing with Chickenpox
Chickenpox also appears inside the mouth, and it can be very painful. As the virus runs its course, you should avoid the following:
- Whole grains like wheat, rice and oats.
- Hard fruits like oranges, berries and apples.
- Spicy foods.
- Salty foods.
- Caffeinated drinks.
It would be best if you instead considered taking:
- Soft fruits like mangoes and papaya.
- Vegetables rich in vitamin C like kale, spinach and broccoli.
- Yoghurt and fruit juices/smoothies.
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