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First Aid for Chickenpox

Last updated Feb. 19, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH


Chicken Pox is an infection caused by varicella virus, which results in itchy rashes with blister formations, all over the body. It is a highly contagious disease.

What is Chickenpox?

  • Chicken Pox is an infection caused by varicella virus, which results in itchy rashes with blister formations, all over the body. It is a highly contagious disease
  • The infection mostly affects young children. In many cases, Chicken Pox is self-limiting and symptomatic treatment (using medications to decrease itching sensation and pain) is considered adequate

What are the Causes of Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is caused by:

  • Interaction with someone, who has Chickenpox (spreads through contact and air)
  • If you have not received the vaccine
  • If you have never been exposed to Chickenpox, during childhood
  • Working in a school or daycare facility (exposure to the virus is higher at such locations)

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Chickenpox?

Early stage (prodromal) Chickenpox may present with:

  • Fever
  • Generalized body ache
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased appetite

1-2 days later they develop into:

  • Itchy rashes with raised red papules (bumps)
  • These bumps later become fluid-filled blisters, which later drain, crust, and heal

Some children may not have the prodromal stage and can present with rashes right from the start of the infection.

How is First Aid administered for Chickenpox?

First Aid tips for Chickenpox include:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Oatmeal bath and calamine lotions to relieve itching
  • May try over-the-counter benadryl to relieve itching (it can cause drowsiness)
  • Avoid scratching the skin; this may lead to infection and delayed healing
  • Clip finger nails of young children, to prevent them from scratching themselves
  • Take ibuprofen or tylenol to reduce fever
  • AVOID ASPIRIN, as this may lead to a serious condition, called Reye’s syndrome
  • Seek medical attention; your physician may prescribe antiviral medications, if necessary

Who should administer First Aid for Chickenpox?

The individual experiencing Chickenpox or someone near the affected person may administer First Aid.

What is the Prognosis of Chickenpox?

The prognosis is usually good, if appropriate measures are taken in a timely manner.

How can Chickenpox be Prevented?

A few helpful tips to prevent Chickenpox:

  • Avoid contact with anyone suffering from Chickenpox
  • Get appropriate vaccination
  • Stay indoors, if you are suffering from Chickenpox

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Avoid scratching the blister formations
  • Avoid taking aspirin
  • If you have Chickenpox, avoid exposure to other individuals, who are not immune to the infection. An infected person is highly contagious, until the lesions have crusted over
  • Consult a healthcare professional appropriately

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Nov. 9, 2013
Last updated: Feb. 19, 2018