What is Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral illness that usually occurs in children, although adults can also be affected. It causes a rash on the skin with blisters, which can be very itchy. Patients with chicken pox remain infectious for around 10 days after the spots scab up.

What are the Symptoms of Chickenpox?

Before the rash appears, there may be a number of flu-like symptoms or a general feeling of unwell. Small red spots will form which will turn into blisters within hours. These blisters will then turn into scabs within a day or two. New blisters may appear after another three to six days have elapsed. Both the rash and blisters will be itchy and will usually appear on the body and face first. Later, they may spread to the limbs and scalp and even to the mouth and genitals. Chickenpox usually lasts for seven to 10 days in children and longer in adults. Adults can take longer to recover and are also more likely than children to suffer complications. Those at particular risk of complications include pregnant women who have never had chickenpox and those with a weak immune system.

What are the Causes of Chickenpox?

The infection is transferred from one person to another through direct contact with broken chickenpox blisters and through airborne droplets. There is usually an incubation period of between 10 and 20 days. In other words, a person may become infected with chickenpox, however symptoms will not appear until 10 to 20 days later.

Traditional Medical Treatments for Chickenpox

Chickenpox usually runs its course without any complications. Once caught, the person should stay at home. They should not scratch the rash, however this is easier said than done, particularly in the case of children. If necessary, the patient’s nails should be trimmed or they should be made to wear gloves or mittens to prevent them from scratching. Calamine lotion can be used to ease the itchiness. A lot of attention should be paid to the personal hygiene of the person who is infected, as bacteria can infect the blisters, leading to complications. The patient should be kept in a cool environment, as heat and sweat can make the itching worse.

Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Chickenpox

There isn’t much you can do in the way of nutrition to improve your comfort or health during a bout of chickenpox, The best you can do is drink pure vegetable broth and freshly made juices with protein powder and brewer’s yeast added. These will supply you with nutrients and help keep your skin in healthy condition while it heals. When your fever lowers, your appetite will return to normal. Be kind to your body and start slowly, eating a diet of mashed bananas, avocados, fresh applesauce and/or yogurt. Do not eat cooked or processed foods.