I’m a GP – here are my top tips for treating chickenpox, including something you should NEVER do

IF your child has an itchy, patchy rash and is feeling irritable, they probably have chickenpox.

It’s a common condition that mostly affects children, but as a parent you want to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.

dr Zoe Williams has shared her top tips for treating chickenpox symptoms


dr Zoe Williams has shared her top tips for treating chickenpox symptomsPhoto credit: Getty

However, there is currently a nationwide shortage of all chickenpox treatments, and that means you could have trouble treating your little one.

Sun columnist Dr. Zoe Williams explained that there is currently no poxyclin, which has led to parents “pulling at each other’s hair”.

Their two-year-old son, Lisbon, developed a rash last week, and soon Dr. Zoe that he had the infection.

To help other parents who may be battling red dots, Dr. Zoe her top tips for treating the disease.

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asking around

You’ve run to Tesco, Boots and even tried your local pharmacy but there’s no product in sight.

dr Posting on Instagram, Zoe said if you’re having trouble finding lotions, you should reach out to your nearest and dearest.

“Ask your family, friends, and neighbors — many have calamine lotion in their cupboards that’s gathering dust, and you might find a hidden bottle of Poxclin that’s like gold dust.

“We’ve had luck with a friend’s calamine, but not luck enough to source Poxclin.

“Alternatives are Eurax cream for people over 3 years old. And if skin is dry, use an emollient — Aveeno has an oat base.”

Try alternatives

dr Zoe said if you don’t have access to conventional products, you should try Piriton to relieve the itch.

“We usually advise non-sedating antihistamines in children, for example for allergies and hay fever, but when it comes to treatment, a little sedation (especially at night) is welcome.”

oat goodness

If your child has chickenpox, they are likely to be irritated by the itching.

An oatmeal bath will help soothe her skin, and you can distract her with some bath toys, too.

dr Zoe said: “Oats have anti-inflammatory properties and can soothe and relieve itching.

“Put a handful of oatmeal in a sock/pantyhose and toss it over the faucet while you run the bath.

“The water should look cloudy. You can also dab the sock directly onto the spots in the bathroom.”

What is chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus and is characterized by a characteristic blistering rash on the face that spreads down the body to the arms and legs.

Although generally mild in otherwise healthy children, it can be more severe in pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals.

Children with chickenpox should stay at home until they are better and the rash is gone.

It’s a very itchy condition and can make little ones uncomfortable even if they don’t have very many pimples.

Before a rash appears, there may be fever, pain, and a general feeling of illness, as well as a loss of appetite.

Adults who get chickenpox usually have longer symptoms and, in most cases, more pimples.

The NHS says it’s possible to get chickenpox more than once but it’s uncommon.

If you are concerned about any of your signs and symptoms, you should call 111 for advice.

Always dial 999 in an emergency.

chop chop

dr Zoe also advised you to keep your child’s fingernails short.

She added that you should use mittens at night if they scratch while they sleep.

The medic said to also give your little one plenty of fluids, give them lots of cuddles and not worry if they have to miss school or daycare for a few days.

Do not do it

But dr Zoe also warned about what parents shouldn’t do if their child has chickenpox.

She said while you can give acetaminophen for a fever, pain or discomfort, you shouldn’t give your child ibuprofen if they have chickenpox.

dr Ranj Singh previously stated that ibuprofen should not be used – unless medically recommended.

This is because ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug that can react with chickenpox, causing them to penetrate deeper into skin tissue.

NHS guidelines state: “Only use ibuprofen if directed to do so by a doctor as it can lead to serious skin infections.” I’m a GP – here are my top tips for treating chickenpox, including something you should NEVER do

Sarah Y. Kim

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