Summary of the issue

How to recognise and treat chickenpox

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Chickenpox: The basics
 

Chickenpox is a benign but highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. In 90% of cases, it occurs between 3 months and 10 years. After a discreet incubation period of 1 to 2 weeks, the first symptoms are not very significant. After a few days, they become VERY recognisable:   small blisters appear that are very itchy. Chickenpox itself is not treatable, but there are solutions to soothe the itching and prevent infection that can cause scarring.

Chickenpox scars are far from harmless, especially when they are in more visible areas like the face. Therefore, blisters and lesions from scratching must be treated carefully to avoid the risk of secondary infection that causes marks.

How to identify chickenpox

Your child is tired and grumpy and they’re dotted with little blisters... Could it be chickenpox? It starts with small red spots that often appear first on the chest or neck and then spread to the whole body. They then turn into tiny fluid-filled blisters that usually dry out within 48 hours, forming a reddish-black scab. Be careful: when the scab is scratched off, this is when there's a risk of scarring.

So how do you treat chickenpox?

  1. Wash your child with a mild soap with a physiological pH. 
     
  2. Dry blisters with a drying formula to speed up repair.
     
  3. Repair dried out blisters with a suitable skin care product to avoid leaving marks.
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Is there anything to avoid?

Yes!

1- Don’t make pimples worse

- Do not use antiseptic on your pimples. This increases the risk of allergic or irritant dermatitis which can cause delayed scar healing.
- Don’t overdo it in the sun. UV rays prevent proper healing. In case of exposure, protect the skin with a very high protection sun cream (SPF50+).

2- Don't be too quick to declare victory

You can usually expect 2 or 3 outbreaks. If some blisters are drying up while others are still appearing, the infection isn’t over - and there is a risk of contagion. Be patient!

FRIENDLY, EXPERT ADVICE

Help! I’ve got itching overdrive!

The skin is itchy. Really itchy... TOO itchy. Beware - a scratched chickenpox blister can leave a scar for life. Here are our tips and tricks to help your child find relief and limit scratching.

  • Cut your child’s nails short to limit scratching lesions and secondary infection. 
  • Have your child wash their hands regularly.
  • Give your child very short baths or showers with lukewarm water once or twice a day with a liquid dermatological soap. 
  • Protect the skin from perspiration as much as possible: it makes itching worse.
  • Choose loose-fitting clothes that don’t rub against the skin.
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