Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Understanding Chickenpox -- Treatment

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

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply