How is chickenpox treated?

Chickenpox is considered a harmless predominantly childhood disease. But it can also develop in adults, and in some cases, chickenpox leads to complications. Find out how the disease manifests itself and how to properly treat it.

general description

Chickenpox, or, as doctors call it, chicken pox is a highly contagious disease that is viral in nature. Its pathogens are Varicella Zoster, which belongs to the family of herpesviruses of the third type. This virus exists only in the conditions of the human body, and when released into the environment dies within ten to fifteen minutes (death accelerates heating, a sharp decrease in temperature, drying).

Varisella Zoster has a high volatility, thanks to which, when it is released from the body of a contagious patient, it is rapidly spreading in space and infecting people around or nearby. The susceptibility of the virus reaches 95-100%, which means that when it comes into contact with the pathogen, infection is almost inevitable.

Varicella is the most common among young children, often found in adolescents, but can develop in an adult. Moreover, the younger the patient, the more easily he suffers the disease, while in adulthood the disease usually occurs in severe form and sometimes leads to serious complications.

Viruses after entry into the body begin to actively and rapidly multiply in the upper respiratory tract, penetrate into the mucous membranes. Next, the pathogens pass through the tonsils into the lymphatic system, and later into the blood. The spinal nerves are affected, and at the final stages the viruses settle in the cells of the dermis and exit through the rashes localized on them after opening them.

Already in the early stages of the development of the disease, immune cells recognize pathogens and begin to destroy viral components. Synthesized antibodies remain in the body forever, so life-long immunity is produced. But there are cases of repeated infection, for example, if the disease has been transferred in an easy form, or the immunity is greatly weakened.


Depending on the severity of chicken pox, there are three main types of it:

  • The light form is observed in 8-10% of cases and is characterized by a satisfactory condition and moderate, not very pronounced manifestations, as well as a short duration of the disease.
  • The average form of severity occurs in the overwhelming majority of patients (up to 80%) and implies more pronounced manifestations and pronounced symptoms of general intoxication of the body, which cause severe discomfort, as well as external, highly visible manifestations.
  • Severe form develops in 10% of those infected. Rashes can cover almost the entire body, the general condition of the patient is rapidly deteriorating and comes to an extremely severe one, accompanied by severe intoxication and changes in the work of important body systems. This form often provokes various complications.

If the basis of the classification to take the form of flow, then we can distinguish two types:

  • The typical form has all characteristic manifestations of the disease.
  • The atypical form may have other flow options that differ from the common and frequent ones.

In its turn,atypical forms of chicken pox are divided into the following types:

  • The rudimentary form suggests single few pockets of lesions in the form of nodules, spots. The rise in body temperature is negligible. Chickenpox often goes unnoticed, is not diagnosed and does not differentiate due to the lack of characteristic obvious manifestations.
  • The hemorrhagic form provokes the defeat of blood vessels.
  • Bull form is accompanied by the appearance of bull - large bubbles filled with turbid liquid.
  • Gangrenous form occurs in a few patients and often develops due to inadequate hygiene and the addition of secondary infections. There is partial necrosis (death) of tissues.
  • Visceral or generalized form leads to extensive damage to internal organs.

Ways of infection

Chickenpox is transmitted by airborne and contact routes. Viruses multiply rapidly in the body and are excreted through the respiratory organs, body fluids (including saliva), and skin rashes covering the skin. Since the susceptibility is close to one hundred percent, even one touch or fleeting contact is enough to infect.The pathogens of the disease live very little outside the human body, therefore transmission through common objects and third parties is almost impossible.

The actual and exciting question - how many days is there a danger of being infected during contacts? The patient becomes infectious around the end of the incubation period, that is, at the first rash or the day before. Contagiousness occurs during the entire duration of the disease and persists for another four to five days after the appearance of the last rash on the body.

Stages of development

There are stages of development of chicken pox:

  1. The incubation period starts from the moment of infection and lasts until the first manifestations, the average duration is two to three weeks. Symptoms are absent, perhaps a slight malaise.
  2. The prodromal stage is characterized by the penetration of pathogens into the blood and is accompanied by symptoms of intoxication, malaise, deterioration of the general condition.
  3. Active stage or period of rash. At this stage, a rash appears - the main external manifestation of chicken pox.
  4. Stage of recovery. On the ground eruptions appear crusts, there is a gradual restoration of the skin.
  5. In rare cases, there is a secondary acute stage, which is characterized by a repeated peak of the disease and the development of its main symptoms.


The main signs of chickenpox are:

  • Rash. Many people are interested in what a rash like chickenpox looks like. At first, red small spots appear, then they are transformed into papules — bubbles rising above the surface of the body, which are then transformed into vesicles — filled with light or transparent contents of the cavity, framed by a red border. They burst and turn into wounds, covered with crusts over time. Since the appearance of specks until the formation of crusts takes about a week. On the complete disappearance of lesions requires about two weeks.
  • The rash is accompanied by itching. There is an unbearable desire to scratch the lesions of the rash, which causes great discomfort.
  • Increased body temperature. With a light flow of chickenpox, the indicators will be insignificant - up to 38-38.5 degrees, subfebrile values ​​are sometimes observed (37.5-37.6). If there is a severe form, then the temperature can rise to critical levels - 39-40 degrees.In this case, sometimes there is chills, fever, fever.
  • Deterioration: drowsiness, decreased performance, weakness, apathy.
  • Symptoms of intoxication: headache, joint and muscle pain, nausea or vomiting, body aches.
  • Sometimes there are lesions on the mucous membranes (especially in the mouth), looking like sores.


A veterinarian will reveal a smallpox during an examination and collection of an anamnesis of the disease, especially if the form is typical and has obvious manifestations. If difficulties arise, a diagnosis is required, which may include blood tests and virological studies of lesions.


How to treat chickenpox? As a rule, symptomatic therapy is carried out, and it can include several directions:

  1. Treatment of rashes. For this purpose, usually a brilliant green solution (green), but you can choose another antiseptic, for example, iodine, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. The sites are treated point-by-point, and recently appeared to be lubricated with a new cotton swab or disk to avoid the rapid spread of the rash over the body surface (viruses are transferred and provoke the appearance of new elements).
  2. In case of severe and acute course, antiviral drugs can be recommended, which suppress the activity of varicella and accelerates the healing process. Appointed by the means used for herpes infections: "Acyclovir", "Famciclovir".
  3. With a significant increase in body temperature, antipyretic agents are taken.
  4. To reduce the itching and manifestations of the rash will help antihistamines. Can be used both local and intended for ingestion, having a wide spectrum of action (they are appointed in severe course).
  5. When secondary infections are prescribed antibacterial agents.
  6. We recommend bed rest or gentle mode, isolation and preservation of quarantine are also required.
  7. Light food and plenty of warm drinks will speed up the elimination of toxins from the body.
  8. Personal hygiene rules must be observed: regular showers (without rubbing with a washcloth and using aggressive agents), periodic bed linen changes.
  9. Valid folk remedies. Outer broths of oak bark, succession, calendula are used for applications or rubbing, weak solutions of baking soda and potassium permanganate are effective.You can also drink mint tea.

Important: Do not scratch the rash, as this will provoke its rapid spread or infection of tissues.

How to protect yourself or a child?

Prevention of chicken pox involves limiting contact with patients, but since they can be infectious before obvious manifestations, there is still a chance of transmission of the virus. To minimize the risk of infection will allow vaccination, which provokes the formation of immunity to chickenpox. You can enter the vaccine at any age.

Chickenpox from a child or adult will not cause complications if it is detected in a timely manner and treated correctly. Otherwise, the risks of complications such as respiratory and vision injuries, cerebral cortex, joints increase. Health to you and your children!

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