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Chickenpox (Varicella) - Topic Overview

Most healthy children and adults need only home treatment for chickenpox. Home treatment includes resting and taking medicines to reduce fever and itching. You also can soak in oatmeal baths to help with itching.

People with long-term diseases or other health problems may need more treatment for chickenpox. They may need immunoglobulin treatment (IG) or antiviral medicine. Your doctor can give you these soon after you are exposed to the virus to help you feel better sooner.

You can prevent chickenpox with the chickenpox vaccine. Children get the chickenpox vaccine as part of their routine immunizations.

If you have been around a person who has the virus and you have not had chickenpox or the vaccine, you still may be able to prevent the illness. Get a shot of chickenpox antibodies (immunoglobulin) or the vaccine right away.

Learning about chickenpox:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

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Taking care of yourself:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 15, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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