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Other Treatments for Chickenpox

For most people, chickenpox is usually mild and requires only comfort measures. Treatments to improve comfort include:

To Reduce Itching From the Rash:

  • Antihistamines are often given to reduce the sensation of itch. They often cause drowsiness.
  • Warm, moist compresses may help.
  • Warm colloidal oatmeal baths or baking soda baths may offer some relief.
  • Calamine lotion is commonly used, but it is of unproven effectiveness.

To Avoid Infection From the Rash:

  • Avoid scratching as much as possible.
  • Keep fingernails trimmed short.
  • Gloves or mittens may be helpful for young children.

When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider

Contact your doctor or other medical professional right away if severe complications occur. Serious symptoms associated with chickenpox that may require immediate medical attention include:

  • Pus-like rash
  • Sores in the eyes
  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Confusion or unusual drowsiness
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Breathing difficulties or severe cough
  • Chest pain
REFERENCES:

Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116084/Chickenpox. Updated June 19, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2018.

Chickenpox. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chickenpox.html. Updated January 2017. Accessed March 14, 2018.

Chickenpox (varicella). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox. Updated June 28, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2018.

Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD  Last Updated: 3/15/2015