Chickenpox is perhaps one of the most common childhood infections, but there are exceptions and adults get sick. Chickenpox is not for nothing considered to be a childhood disease, because children tolerate this disease relatively easily, which is not the case with adults. Just with this, there will be some peculiarities in the treatment.
Chickenpox: what are we dealing with?
By itself, chickenpox is an acute infectious disease. The causative agent is - the herpes virus (zoster), 1 of 6 representatives of herpes infection. After suffering the disease, life-long immunity remains, that is, it is not possible to get sick with chickenpox a second time! The virus goes into a sleeping state, only with a sharp decrease in the work of immunity, it can wake up, start such a disease as shingles.
By itself, the virus is highly contagious (contagious), Zoster quickly spreads by airborne droplets, even through multi-storey buildings. The source of infection can be persons with the acute form of the disease, like chickenpox and shingles. In the conditions of the children's team, children may be contagious during the incubation period, literally a couple of days before the onset of clinical symptoms. It is these circumstances that can explain the momentary spread of infection in kindergartens and schools.
The infection is characterized by seasonality, most often outbreaks of the disease are recorded in the cold season, against the background of the rising incidence of ARVI. During the latent period of the disease, the virus accumulates in the body, and the entrance gate of the infection is the mucous membrane of the mouth and nose. In the future, the first non-specific signs of the disease appear - fever, general malaise, loss of appetite. Initially, the temperature is within subfebrile values - 37.2 - 37.5 degrees.
Further, the body temperature rises more significantly to 39 degrees, the first elements of the rash appear on the body. The body temperature of the child may decrease, but increase again when new elements of the rash appear. They appear gradually; vesicles appear approximately every day. The rashes themselves go through a period of ripening - a spot of red color, which has a rounded shape, small in size. After a few hours, a bump forms on the surface of the spot, and it matures to a bubble filled with transparent contents. Just this liquid contains a virus, when it breaks through, it is released into the environment.
The bubbles are always single-chamber, very quickly their wall turns into a crust and falls off independently. Sometimes suppuration may join, then scars may remain on the baby’s skin.
During the period when new elements of the rash appear, the crumb feels bad - increased body temperature, lack of appetite, weakness, etc. In addition, the child is constantly tormented by intolerable itching, and it is very difficult to resist and not comb the rash. By the way, due to scratching, a secondary infection can join, scars remain on the skin.
As a rule, chickenpox is an unpleasant but not dangerous disease for a child; the only exception is immunocompromised children. Danger of the disease may be for pregnant women, which often results in serious pathologies in the born baby, which may be incompatible with life. In addition, in almost all adults, the disease is severe, with strong symptoms of intoxication, and often the treatment takes place in the hospital.
Parents, as a rule, are interested in only one question: how many days do children suffer from chickenpox? It is very difficult to unambiguously answer this; everything will depend on the age of the patient and the work of his immune defense. If we take the appearance of the first clinical symptoms and the end of their disappearance, then the average is from 5 to 14 days. But even after that, the child remains in quarantine for 2.5 weeks.
How to treat chickenpox in children at home?
There is no recognized cure for chickenpox, as there are no antiviral drugs that will act directly on the virus. But in the case of treatment of adults or those with reduced work of immune protection, antiviral drugs are prescribed.
Defined therapeutic measures in the treatment of chickenpox, which must be strictly observed.
- First of all, these are hygienic measures. In the acute period of the disease it is recommended to observe bed rest, parents should monitor the cleanliness of the bed and underwear of the child. Ideally, underwear should be changed daily, followed by washing in hot water. Bed linen - every 2 - 3 days.
- During the illness, it is recommended to take a shower daily, ideally a couple of times a day, but it is forbidden to use a washcloth - as it is possible to damage the elements of the rash and open the entrance gate for a secondary infection.
Taking a shower is justified by several reasons. Firstly, during the illness due to the high temperature, the child sweats, therefore, skin breathing is impaired. Dirty skin, especially moist, is an ideal place for the development of pathogenic microflora, and significantly increases the risk of attaching a secondary infection.
On the question of how to smear chickenpox answer, it would seem simple. Parents recognize only one drug - Zelenka. But it is worth remembering that this is not a medicine, thus the rash does not cure. Use of green stuff is justified only in the case of tracking the appearance of new elements of the rash.
For the treatment of vesicles, you can use the "Calamine Lotion", this is the drug for a long time and successfully used in many skin diseases. Quickly relieves itching, has a drying and simultaneously cooling effect. The active ingredients of the drug provide a disinfecting effect, and prevent the accession of a secondary infection. Keratoplasty, which are part of the drug, will stimulate the regenerative processes of the skin.
In addition to "Calamine-lotion", in the processing of vesicles rash, you can use any aniline dye, for the purpose of disinfection and drying - "Rivanol-solution", "Fukortsin", etc.
The treatment of vesicles in the oral cavity deserves special attention. Often, chickenpox in the mouth provokes the development of herpetic stomatitis, which requires active therapeutic action. First of all, it is oral hygiene, after recovery, the replacement of all subjects of oral hygiene. To relieve the inflammatory process and prevent the accession of a secondary infection, the baby’s mouth should be rinsed with antiseptic solutions - Hexoral, Miramistin, chamomile tea, etc. For painful sensations, or just unbearable itching, before eating or before going to bed, especially troubling areas mucous can be gently smeared with anesthetic gels during teething. Their actions will be quite enough for the child to fall asleep or eat. There are no specific drugs for the treatment of chicken pox in the mouth, only symptomatic therapy remains.
Despite the fact that chickenpox is not such a terrible disease, which can lead to a threat to the health of the child, and its treatment may well take place at home, consultation and observation of the pediatrician should not be ignored. Although the symptoms of chickenpox are specific, many more complex diseases with similar symptoms are known. Their treatment will be significantly different from each other, and the consequences also, and not for the better.