Chickenpox is an infection with a blistering rash, which is caused by the Varicella virus. This virus also causes shingles.


The incubation period - the length of time from exposure to the virus to developing the condition - is 2 to 3 weeks. If someone in the house has chickenpox, the likelihood of someone else in the house catching it, who has not already had it, is as much as 90%.


The spots appear over a few days and progress from being red spots to forming blisters which eventually burst, dry and crust, ultimately to heal. The spots are very itchy and if the child scratches and infects them they will leave scars.


By the time the spots have stopped forming and are dried over and the temperature has fallen back to normal, the child is no longer infectious. This usually takes a week and until then they should remain off nursery, playgroup or school.


Chickenpox does not normally make children very ill, and for most, the main problem is the itchiness. Your doctor will not normally need to see the child, but you should let him know that the child has had it. Chickenpox may be severe in adults and people with a severe case of chickenpox may be given an antiviral drug.


You are infectious for 2 days before the rash appears and for 5 days after. Once you have had chickenpox you are immune and rarely catch it again, however the virus can re-activate to cause shingles. People with chickenpox should stay away from others who have not had chickenpox until their rashes have dried up.


Many people find that calamine lotion helps soothe the itch and paracetamol helps ease aches and pains and also keeps down the temperature.

Pregnant women should contact their GP immediately if they are in contact with a person with the disease.

As chickenpox is a virus there is no cure for it, but there are things you can do to help relieve your childs symptoms:

  • Try to make sure your child drinks plenty of water.
  • Ask our pharmacist for advice about giving children’s paracetamol if your child has a fever.
  • Dress your child in light, loose clothing and keep bedding to a minimum.
  • Apply Calamine Lotion or ViraSoothe Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel, which is clinically proven to relieve chickenpox itching.

You should contact your doctor immediately if your child has chickenpox:

  • Is under 4 weeks old.
  • Has breathing difficulties.
  • Has chest pains.
  • Has skin blisters which become infected and look yellow and pus filled.

Products we recommend for this condition are:

  • Virasoothe Chicken Pox Cool Gel 75g - Care Virasoothe provides cooling and soothing relief to the affected areas, reducing the urge to scratch.  It contains Osmo Care, a unique patented technology that has been clinically proven to relieve the irritating symptoms of chickenpox by cooling the skin and thereby relieving itching. By protecting the skin's environment it allows the skin to heal naturally which can help reduce long-term scarring. Ingredients: Glycerin Sodium hydroxide Caprylyl glycol.  For use from 6 months. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before use if there is any sensitivity to any of the ingredients contained in this product. Keep out of reach and sight of children. Store below 25°c in the original condition.
  • Numark Calamine Lotion 200ml - Contains two active ingredients which work together to cool and soothe the skin. These ingredients are calamine and zinc oxide, and they work by creating a cooling sensation in the skin as this lotion dries and evaporates on the skin. It can also dry oozing or weeping caused by skin irritation as it also works to relieve itching and stinging.

    Do not use Numark Calamine Lotion if you are allergic to any of the listed ingredients. Speak to your doctor before using this product if you are going to have an x-ray as this product may mask the x-ray picture. For external use only, should not be used on: broken skin, eyes, digestive cavities, genital tract or any other sensitive parts of the body.

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