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Chickenpox (Varicella) - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you or your child with chickenpox has:

Call for an appointment with your doctor if:

Recommended Related to Adult Vaccines

Adult Immunizations: What You Need

For many of us, becoming an adult means leaving behind the trappings of our youth, but immunizations are not necessarily one of them. Many of the vaccinations we had as children need to be repeated as adults to maintain proper immunity. And just as adulthood brings a new set of responsibilities, being an adult can also require a new set of immunizations.

Read the Adult Immunizations: What You Need article > >

  • You are older than age 12, you aren't sure if you have ever had chickenpox or the vaccine, and you have been exposed to chickenpox.
  • You or your child has a weak immune system and has been exposed to chickenpox.
  • You are pregnant and have been exposed to chickenpox.
  • You or your child has chickenpox and any of the following:
    • A fever that lasts longer than 24 hours
    • Severe itching that cannot be relieved by home treatment
    • Chickenpox rash on the eyeball
    • A rash that lasts longer than 2 weeks

If you are a teen or adult, are pregnant, or have a weak immune system, it's important to see your doctor as soon as you think you've been exposed to the chickenpox virus. Your doctor may want to give you a medicine that helps protect you from the virus.

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. Then your child won't have to leave the house and risk spreading the virus to others. But it is important to check with your doctor to find out if he or she wants to see your child.

If you go to a doctor's office, ask if you need to take any precautions when you arrive to avoid spreading the infection. For example, office staff may take you directly to an exam room when you arrive, rather than have you wait in the lobby.

Who to see

The following health professionals can diagnose and treat chickenpox:

If severe complications develop, you may be referred to a specialist. For example, you may see a pulmonologist for lung problems.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    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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