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Chickenpox

Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection that causes an itchy, spotty rash. It's common in children but adults can get it too.

Symptoms of chickenpox include itchy red spots and blisters anywhere on the body.

Chickenpox usually gets better on its own within a week. You can ease symptoms with cooling creams, antihistamines and paracetamol.

You can catch chickenpox by being in the same room as someone with it. It's also spread by touching things that have fluid from the blisters on them.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of chickenpox include itchy red spots and blisters anywhere on the body.

Check if it's chickenpox

Small red spots on white skin.1. Chickenpox starts with red spots. They can appear anywhere on the body.

Small red spots, filled with fluid, on white skin.2. The spots fill with fluid and become blisters. The blisters may burst. They might spread or stay in a small area.

Small red spots with scabs in the centre, on white skin.3. The spots scab over. More blisters might appear while others scab over.

Other symptoms

You might get symptoms before or after the spots, including:

Chickenpox is very itchy and can make children feel miserable, even if they do not have many spots. Chickenpox is usually much worse in adults.

It's possible to get chickenpox more than once, although it's unusual.

Read more on the NHS website.

Chickenpox usually gets better on its own within a week. You can ease symptoms with cooling creams, antihistamines and paracetamol.

Self-care

Important

You'll need to stay away from school, nursery or work until all the spots have crusted over.

This is usually 5 days after the spots first appeared.


Do

  • drink plenty of fluid (try ice lollies if your child is not drinking) to avoid dehydration
  • take paracetamol to help with pain and discomfort
  • put socks on your child's hands at night to stop scratching
  • cut your child's nails
  • use cooling creams or gels from your pharmacy
  • speak to a pharmacist about using antihistamine medicine to help itching
  • bathe in cool water and pat the skin dry (do not rub)
  • dress in loose clothes
  • check with your airline if you're going on holiday – many airlines will not allow you to fly with chickenpox

Don't

  • do not use ibuprofen unless advised to do so by your doctor, as it may cause serious skin infections
  • do not give aspirin to children under 16
  • do not be around pregnant women, newborn babies and people with a weakened immune system, as it can be dangerous for them

Read more on the NHS website.

You can catch chickenpox by being in the same room as someone with it. It's also spread by touching things that have fluid from the blisters on them.

Read more on the NHS website.