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Doctor insights on: Chickenpox

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Dr. James Ferguson
751 Doctors shared insights

Chickenpox (Overview)

Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chicken pox results in a blister rash that starts on the stomach, back, and face and spreads throughout the entire body. These small itchy blisters eventually scab over. Associated symptoms include itching, fatigue, malaise, and a fever. The most effective method to prevent spreading of the varicella virus is to get the vaccination.


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What is the common age that a child catches chickenpox? My nephew is 13 and has not got them yet. Should we be concerned?

What is the common age that a child catches chickenpox? My nephew is 13 and has not got them yet. Should we be concerned?

No: Most children have received a chicken pox vaccine by the time they are 15 months old, they now get a booster shot also. Did your nephew get his vaccinations? If so, it is unlikely he will ever get chicken pox. If he hasn't had his vaccination, I would contact his doctor to arrange for that shot! Chicken pox can be a serious disease, causing pneumonia, and it can cause shingles when he is older. ...Read more

Dr. James Ferguson
751 Doctors shared insights

Chickenpox (Overview)

Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chicken pox results in a blister rash that starts on the stomach, back, and face and spreads throughout the entire body. These small itchy blisters eventually scab over. Associated symptoms include itching, fatigue, malaise, and a fever. The most effective method to prevent spreading of the varicella virus is to get the vaccination.


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Help please? How long does chickenpox last?

Help please? How long does chickenpox last?

? last?: The incubation period after exposure is 10-21 days (ave 14) and you are contageous from the day before you break out for a week or until all sores scab. The dry lesions will produce superficial scars that can be noticeable for a year. How long it last depends on what you include in your definition. ...Read more

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Chickenpox (Tip)

Do have your child vaccinated....Then you probably won't have to deal with a child with chickenpox. ...See more

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Treating Chickenpox (Checklist)

Apply a cool moist towel to itchy areas as needed
hourly, while awake
Keep fingernails short
once
Avoid scratching by covering your hands with mittens or socks
once
Use calamine lotion where needed for itching
once
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My kid seems to be walking funny, is this a normal symptom of chickenpox?

My kid seems to be walking funny, is this a normal symptom of chickenpox?

Could Be: Ataxia or poorly balanced walking is a rare symptom of chicken pox. Was your child immunized? Need to see your doctor. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of chickenpox in teens?

What are the symptoms of chickenpox in teens?

Same as in chldren: Symptoms and signs of chicken pox in teens are pretty much same as in younger children. However, teens tend to develop severe form of disease (lot more bumps) and its complications, i.e., meningoencephalitis. ...Read more

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Chickenpox (Tip)

One time infection gives lifelong immunity in most. Leaves no scars with supportive treatment only. ...See more

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What are the signs of chickenpox pneumonia?

What are the signs of chickenpox pneumonia?

Chickenpox + cough: The pneumonia associated with varicella (chickenpox) is more common in adults especially in pregnancy but since most children who got chickenpox didn't have a chest x-ray, it is under diagnosed. ...Read more

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Does personalized medicine apply to diagnosis of typical conditions like chickenpox? What tests are needed?

Personalized???: Dx and rx of something like chickenpox is part of medical care. For most of us it is a visual (i look at it) DX when paired with a history of how it started. No specific tests are needed & rx is directed at pt comfort. If you are asking about specific contracted care with a concierge dr; that would depend on the wording of your agreement. ...Read more

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Do they test babies for chickenpox with titers?

Do they test babies for chickenpox with titers?

I never have: For the seasoned physician, chickenpox has typical enough blisters in most cases that confirmation by blood test is unnecessary & impractical. If there is concern that grandma's diagnosis a month ago was wrong, its less expensive to vaccinate the child than do titers. In young adults & women considering pregnancy who want to be sure they are protected titers have great value. ...Read more

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What are the tests for chickenpox?

What are the tests for chickenpox?

Physical exam: Chickenpox is diagnosed by physical exam. Due to the widespread use of the varivax vaccine against the illness, it does not occur very commonly these days, saving the lives of about 100 children a year. Your doctor should be able to tell if it is chickenpox by history and exam. ...Read more

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How do you know if you have chickenpox?

Look at it: Most providers can diagnose it by looking. There is also a blood test to look for specific acute infection antibodies but it would take awhile. ...Read more

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Can the smallpox vaccine cause chickenpox in an adult?

Smallpox&varicella: Small popx and varicella viruses are different and one cannot cause the other. ...Read more

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Does a history of chickenpox mean immunity?

Yes, if dx correct: Having chicken pox confers immunity, yes. The problem is that other rashes resemble chicken pox. Was the diagnosis was made by a dermatologist or pediatrician, or by somebody's aunt sadie? If it's important to know for sure, your doctor can order a varicella titer, which will tell you if you have antibodies to the virus in your blood. ...Read more

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Is it ok if I will not use acyclovir cream if I am already using oral acyclovir to treat chickenpox?

Is it ok if I will not use acyclovir cream if I am already using oral acyclovir to treat chickenpox?

Yes: Acyclovir cream is not very effective to begin with, and if you're already taking oral acyclovir, it's completely unnecessary. ...Read more

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With chickenpox what are my treatment options?

With chickenpox what are my treatment options?

Depends: Most chickenpox will self heal over a week or so in kids. There are antiviral medications that can suppress the intensity of the illness if taken early in the illness, but these are not recommended for most natural cases in kids. Adults should receive treatment because of the amplified intensity and complications involved. ...Read more

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What's the fastest way to cure chickenpox?

Chickenpox: Treatment for chicken pox can include Acyclovir (antiviral medication). Itching can be soothed with calamine lotion ; colloidal oatmeal baths. To reduce infections from scratching blisters – keep fingernails short. Prevention is however best. The best protection against herpes varicella- zoster virus (vzu) is vaccination. ...Read more

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What's the best way to get rid of chickenpox scars?

What's the best way to get rid of chickenpox scars?

You can't: Unfortunately you can't "get rid" of scars. They can be made to be less noticeable but this depends on the scars appearance. Often what makes chicken pox scars more noticeable is that they are depressed or indented. Sometimes fillers can help them, cutting the scar out and closing it in a line that hides in the natural wrinkles can work very well. There are lasers that may also be helpful. ...Read more

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Is the chickenpox vaccine safe? If given in pregnancy, what is risk?

Is the chickenpox vaccine safe? If given in pregnancy, what is risk?

Varicella vaccine: The varicella vaccine is a pregnancy category c. This means animal studies show adverse fetal effect (s) but no controlled human studies or no animal or human studies; weigh possible fetal risk vs. Maternal benefit. With no humal controlled studies, I would not take the vaccine. ...Read more

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What are the best ways to prevent chickenpox?

What are the best ways to prevent chickenpox?

Vaccine: This are routine for children, should be offered to adults with no history of chicken pox. Much more serious in adults than children. ...Read more

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I have never had chickenpox. How careful must I be to avoid getting shingles from somebody?

I have never had chickenpox. How careful must I be to avoid getting shingles from somebody?

You can't: You can't get shingles if you've never had the chicken pox, unless you have been vaccinated for the chicken pox. Shingles should not be contagious, however if you have never been vaccinated or had the disease, you should avoid that person or at least consult with your physician. ...Read more

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What is chickenpox?

What is chickenpox?

Chicken pox: This is a common contagious virus known as varicella zoster ...Read more

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Can I get chickenpox twice?

Yes: I have read of a small fraction of the population that has trouble developing immunity to this virus that may have repeated attacks. Infants who have it in their first year may only develop partial immunity&have it again. In many cases what was thought was chicken pox in the past may have been another of the blistering ailments like hand/foot/mouth virus. ...Read more

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Is chickenpox safe for kids?

Is chickenpox safe for kids?

?? confusing question: Wild chicken pox in its hayday annually infected 2-4 million people/yr, usually kids, killed ~50 & led to 10thou hosps in the US. The present vaccine was first available in Japan & evaluated for 16 years before becoming adopted for general use in the US (delay primarily for cost/benefit issues).CP deaths are now quite rare. Negatives include poor protection for some & vaccine related chicken pox. ...Read more

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What is caposi's chickenpox?

What is caposi's chickenpox?

KVE: Kaposi varicelliform eruption (KVE) is a skin eruption caused by a variety of viral infections, which has superimposed on a person with underlying atopic dermatitis or eczema. ...Read more

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Can you get chickenpox twice?

Yes: If for some reason you don't producce an adequate immune response, especially in children with their first infection under 6 months of age, it is not unusual to get a second infection if you aren't later vaccinated on schedule. ...Read more

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How is chickenpox transmitted?

Droplet/contact: Chickenpox can be spread by airborn droplets inhaled into the lung or contact with contaminated material (secretions or debris from blisters). ...Read more