Chickenpox (Varicella) - Topic Overview
Your doctor will ask
you about your symptoms and will examine you. This usually gives your doctor
enough information to find out if you have chickenpox.
A healthy child with chickenpox symptoms may not need to visit a doctor. You may be
able to describe your child's symptoms to the doctor over the phone.
Teenagers, adults, pregnant women, and people with
health problems need to see a doctor for chickenpox. This is especially
important for pregnant women, since chickenpox during pregnancy can cause
birth defects or serious newborn infection.
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.
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.