Chickenpox: How to control the itchiness

Chickenpox is characterized by a rash that can be quite uncomfortable. The severity of the rash tends to vary from one individual to another but it is vital to reduce scratching of the rash to prevent infection and scarring.

The itchiness from chickenpox can be managed at home with baths and over-the-counter medications and lotions. A doctor must be consulted first before using these medications to a child.

Controlling the itchiness of chickenpox

There are home treatments that can minimize the itchiness of chickenpox. The following can make a child more comfortable as well as keeping scratching under control.

Baths

Chickenpox

The severity of the rash tends to vary from one individual to another but it is vital to reduce scratching of the rash to prevent infection and scarring.

Warm to cool baths can reduce the itchiness of the chickenpox rash. It is recommended to take baths for 20-30 minutes as often as needed to stay clean and soothe the itchy skin. When a child is bathing in a bathtub, always stay with him/her.

  • Avoid using soap or only use one that is mild. Those that are made for sensitive skin or for babies are usually mild.
  • You can add oatmeal to the bath or use an oatmeal bath product.
  • The skin should be blotted dry after bathing. Avoid rubbing the skin.

Compresses

Apply a cool compress over the itchy parts of the body.

  • It is best to utilize a soft, absorbent cloth such as a soft facial cloth. Moisten the cloth with cool water and apply directly on the skin.
  • You can prepare an oatmeal paste and apply on the itchy areas. Ground oatmeal to a powder and mix with a small amount of water to create a paste. Spread the paste on a paper towel and place the side with the paste on the itchy area. Leave in place for 10-15 minutes and gently rinse and pat the skin dry.

Lotions

Apply a soothing lotion to promote drying of the blisters. Remember to consult a doctor first before using those that contain antihistamines. The lotions that include the following can be used:

  • Menthol, phenol and camphor such as calamine lotion
  • Oatmeal

How to prevent skin irritation

Hygienic practices should be observed to minimize skin irritation and scratching.

  • Wear clothes that are loose and made of cotton
  • Change clothes and bedsheets regularly
  • Use a mild laundry detergent on clothes or linens that are irritating to the skin
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