Best Treatment Options for Chicken Pox

The best treatment options for chickenpox are focused on relieving symptoms and preventing complications. There is no specific cure for chickenpox, treatment is mainly supportive care.

The treatment options for chickenpox include:

  1. Over-the-counter pain relievers: If you or your child has a high fever or achiness caused by chickenpox, reach for Acetaminophen (Tylenol). It can even help relieve pain associated with sores that develop on your skin or in your mouth. It’s safe for most people, including pregnant women and children over 2 months old. Avoid anti-inflammatory painkillers, like ibuprofen since it can make you very ill. Never give aspirin to children under age 16. It can lead to a serious complication called Reye’s syndrome.
  2. Topical creams: Calamine lotion or calamine plus zinc oxide can help to relieve itching. Avoid using creams with benzocaine or other numbing agents, as they can cause allergic reactions.
  3. Anti-itch medications: such as an antihistamine can be used to relieve itching.
  4. Oatmeal baths: these can help to soothe the skin and reduce itching.
  5. Keep the patient isolated: to prevent the spread of the virus to others, until all the blisters have crusted over, usually around 5 to 7 days after the onset of the rash.
  6. Fluids: Drink lots of fluids to help your body rid itself of the virus faster. It’ll also keep you from getting dehydrated.

It’s worth noting that antiviral medication such as Acyclovir can be used to shorten the duration and severity of chickenpox in certain cases, mainly in immunocompromised individuals and newborns.

Prescription Medications

If you’ve been exposed to someone who has chickenpox but doesn’t have symptoms yet, your doctor may give you an injection of a treatment called immunoglobulin. It can help prevent severe chickenpox. Your doctor may consider this therapy if you’re:

  • Pregnant
  • A smoker
  • Living with HIV
  • Having chemotherapy (“chemo”) or taking high doses of steroid medication

It is also important to monitor for any signs of complications, such as secondary skin infections, pneumonia, or encephalitis, and to seek medical attention if these occur.