Chickenpox, as usual, is treated like a childhood disease that proceeds relatively easily and does not entail any serious complications. But like any illness, it is important to recognize it in time.
What does chickenpox look like?
Chickenpox, or chickenpox, is an infectious viral disease. The causative agent of the disease is a virus belonging to the family of herpes viruses.
It is fairly easy to catch chickenpox. It is transmitted by airborne droplets. For infection is not required to direct contact with a sick person. The varicella-zoster virus lives for about an hour in the external environment, therefore it can be transmitted through general hygiene items, in public transport. A person infected with chickenpox is contagious two days before the onset of visible symptoms, so it is not always possible to identify the carrier of the virus by external signs.
The incubation period for chickenpox is 10 to 23 days. At this time, the person feels completely healthy.
Signs of chickenpox
- The first sign of varicella is a characteristic rash. Initially, these are small pink rounded specks that appear on the face and scalp, gradually spreading throughout the body. Rash captures and mucous membranes: mouth, eye conjunctiva, genitals.
- The rash changes with time: specks on the skin become convex, then go into bubbles filled with liquid (vesicles). Vesicles burst on the second or third day, covered with light brown or yellowish crusts. Crusts disappear by themselves in a few days.
- On the body of the patient, rashes at different stages are present simultaneously, as the new rash constantly appears. Such a wavelike rash spread is one of the sure signs of chickenpox.
- Along with the rash, the patient has an increase in temperature to 39-39.5 degrees, general weakness, headache and chills, appetite disappears.
- The rash of chickenpox is accompanied by severe itching. But combing itchy spots in no case is impossible! If an infection gets in the wound, scars will remain on the skin after the illness.
- Symptoms of the disease usually last 5 to 10 days. Then relief comes, and after a while the skin is completely cleared of the rash.
- Chickenpox usually goes without complications, especially in healthy children. But for adults, pregnant women, newborns and children undergoing hormonal therapy, as well as for people with weakened immunity, chickenpox is an extremely dangerous disease.
- Sometimes there is a difficulty in diagnosing chickenpox because of its similarity in the early stages with allergic dermatitis. To identify the disease, make sure that all possible allergens are removed from the patient’s environment and food. Pay attention to the intensity of the rash: with chickenpox, the number of new lesions decreases, and with allergies increases. With chickenpox, there are no rashes on the palms and soles of the feet.
Signs of chickenpox in children
Children tolerate chickenpox quite easily, especially when their health is strong. The most susceptible to the disease kids up to five years. But in infants under the age of six months, chicken pox appears extremely rarely. They are protected by the mother's immunity, transmitted through breast milk and through the placenta during pregnancy. After the age of ten years, chickenpox in children is rare, but proceeds in a more severe form.
- Along with the typical symptoms in children with chickenpox, lymph nodes may increase.
- Sometimes the chicken pox in children goes away without fever and other initial symptoms.
- A child may well be infected with chickenpox from a person with manifestations of the so-called "cold on the lips." Indeed, as already mentioned, chicken pox and herpes are viruses of the same family.
- Particularly dangerous is chickenpox infection in children who have recently undergone vaccination. Reduced immunity during this period can lead to complications and serious consequences!
Urgently call a doctor if your child has chickenpox and has atypical symptoms:
- The spots of rash increase in size, look like herpes on the lips, turn blue.
- The rash appears again, although the first signs of the disease were found 10 days ago.
- High temperature lasts more than a week.
- A rash appears on the mucous membranes (this may indicate the same changes on the internal organs).
- There are cough and runny nose (can be caused by rashes of herpes in the nasopharynx).
- Diarrhea and frequent vomiting begin.
Signs of chickenpox in adults
As a rule, in adults, the symptoms of chickenpox are stronger, the disease goes away with complications and can leave serious consequences.
The rash is a typical symptom in adults. Rash is usually much more abundant than in children, and itching is much stronger. Also, signs of chickenpox in adults can be indigestion, discomfort, and abdominal pain.
Usually, chickenpox is sick once, but the virus can remain in the body for a long time. Sometimes, re-activated, varicella-zoster virus causes such a disease as herpes zoster (shingles). Symptoms of shingles: severe pain, itching and burning, tingling of the right or left area of the body. After some time, the sore spots become covered with weeping blisters, which dry out and disappear within a few weeks.
Shingles most commonly affects older people and adults with a weak immune system. It is important that a patient with herpes zoster can become a source of varicella-zoster virus and cause disease in people who have not had chickenpox or have not been vaccinated against it.
- How is chickenpox transmitted?
- How to treat chickenpox in a child?
At the first signs of chickenpox, immediately consult a doctor. You can find methods for treating a disease in the article Treating Chicken Pox. Take care of your health and the health of your loved ones!