Skip to content

Information and Resources

Understanding Chickenpox -- Treatment

Font Size
A
A
A

What Are the Treatments for Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is extremely contagious. Keep your child home until all of the blisters are dry and scabs have fallen off.

Most cases of chickenpox require little or no treatment beyond treating the symptoms.

Understanding Chickenpox

Find out more about chickenpox:

Basics

Symptoms

Treatment

Prevention

The prescription drug Zovirax (acyclovir) is helpful in shortening the duration of chickenpox symptoms if given within a day of their appearance. Most experts agree that this drug and those like it should be used for children with chickenpox infections that involve the lungs and/or brain. For less severe infections, some doctors recommend use of these drugs while others don't.

Varizig is an FDA-approved drug for children and adults with weakened immune systems, newborns, pregnant women, premature infants, children less than a year old, and adults with no immunity to the chickenpox virus. Varzig is given in two or more injections, depending on the weight of the recipient, within 96 hours after exposure. 

In addition, your doctor or pediatrician may recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as Benadryl or Zyrtec, to relieve pain, itching, and swelling. Antibiotics are called for if a secondary bacterial skin infection arises or if the person with chickenpox contracts bacterial pneumonia.

Home Remedies for Chickenpox

  • Trim your child's fingernails or cover her hands with socks or mittens to keep her from scratching, which could lead to infection as well as to possible scarring.
  • To ease itching, add a handful of oatmeal or baking soda to bath water. Apply cool, wet towels to the skin and allow them to dry.
  • Dab calamine lotion, any other perfume-free lotion, on the lesions to relieve itching.
  • Leave your baby's diaper off as much as possible to allow the vesicles to dry out and scab.
  • Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and use as a gargle to ease mouth sores, or rinse with a combination of warm water and hydrogen peroxide. In older children, Chloraseptic lozenges or sprays contain a mild anesthetic.
  • Give Tylenol for fever; no aspirin should be given to children with chickenpox.
  • Keep sores clean by washing daily. Apply lotion afterwards.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on March 08, 2014

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
feet
Solutions for 19 types.
pregnancy test and calendar
Helping you get pregnant.
build a better butt
How to build a better butt.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
psoriasis
How to keep flares at bay.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
spinal compression fracture
Treatment options.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.