Common Diseases Symptoms And Treatment
Find below answers to common questions, validated by doctors. Please note that any decision must be made in consultation with a doctor.
Chickenpox: Reddish, itchy skin rash/blisters all over body.
- Reddish skin rash which usually starts from the abdomen and later develops into extremely itchy blisters.
- In some cases, blisters may also first appear on the head scalp and inside the mouth before spreading to the face.
- Sudden onset of high viral fever along with loss of appetite.
- Headache, nausea and ear/back pain.
- It usually affects children below the age of 12 years. So it is very important to get children vaccinated against this disease at an early age. See prevention section below.
When to see a doctor (Dermatologist / Skin Specialist):
- Itchy outbreak of red spots/blisters on scalp, face and torso.
- Fever higher than 102°F, dehydration and loss of appetite.
- Take bath with water boiled with neem leaves. Also apply neem paste to red spots.
- If feeling too itchy, gently wipe your skin with warm water.
- Take rest and focus on having good diet and drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid spicy food. Prefer cooler food items like cold milk/buttermilk and curd can be soothing.
- Take Paracetamol for fever and Benadryl for itching.
- Most patients are just asked to stay indoors at home to avoid spreading this to others and take rest.
- Depending upon a person's immune system, diet intake and ensuring no scratching of red spots, the disease should go away by itself in about 1 or 2 weeks.
- Medicines to relieve itching may be prescribed. Cut your nails and do not scratch the itchy red spots.
Tests for detection:
- Physical examination of body rashes by doctor.
- Lab examination of the fluid discharged from the blisters/red spots may be prescribed.
- Blood test is helpful in detecting chickenpox.
- Occurs through direct contact with someone who is already infected with the disease.
- Also transmitted through air by coughing or sneezing.
Is it contagious:
- Yes. Chickenpox is highly contagious. Infected children should be kept away from other family members who have not had chickenpox.
How to prevent it:
- Varicella vaccine is available that provides immunity for about 5 years. It should be given to a newborn followed by booster shots after 4 to 6 years for immunity from chickenpox.
- Avoid any direct contact with someone who is already suffering from chicken pox.
- Do not share pillow clothes, bed linens, soap or bath towels with infected people.
- Once chickenpox is cured, virus becomes dormant but still remains in the body and may cause 'shingles' even after many years. Do not ignore any red rash. Take timely advice from a doctor.