Chickenpox will occur in almost every human being and is a normal condition. Some people have it in their childhood and won’t remember it once they get older, and some people will get it well into adulthood.
But regardless of when you get it, it’s important to understand what it exactly is, what its symptoms are, and what we need to do once we are aware of its presence in our health.
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Though chickenpox is a common illness and may not be major, some people may be at a higher risk than others. It can lead to major health complications or even fatal to newborn babies, pregnant women or people with a weakened immune system or people suffering from other health complications.
In this instance, it is important to report your chickenpox symptoms to a medical professional at first notice. Extra attention needs to be provided for anyone who belongs in the below list people at a higher risk.
- a child or adult with chickenpox will have a high fever, cough, abdominal or chest pain
- a pregnant woman has chickenpox
- a newborn baby (up to 1 month of age) is exposed to chickenpox
- a person over 50 years of age has shingles
- chickenpox develops in a child or adult with an immune deficiency (including a history of leukaemia, even if in remission).
Symptoms of Chickenpox
- Low-grade fever
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Intense Itchiness
- Skin Rashes
- Patches of inflamed skin
- General Discomfort
- Bumpy skin texture
- Common Cold
- Irregular patches of inflamed skin
These symptoms may also be cases of other health complications and illnesses. The above symptoms can lead to more serious health concerns or maybe common sicknesses that will run its course.
If any of them become severe or a few of them are happening at the same time, speak with a doctor before you assume it is chickenpox. Often you may not know how to treat yourself, and so a doctor can advise what the best course of action will be for you.
As chickenpox is a common virus in all people, it can lead to other complications if it is not appropriately treated or occurs in people that belong to the high-risk spectrum of chickenpox. The possible complications of chickenpox include:
- Scarring. Chickenpox can leave pockmark scars and wounds that can take many months or years to heal on the skin.
- Pneumonia. This is an infection and inflammation that occurs inside the lungs. If left untreated, it can prove fatal.
- Encephalitis. An inflammation that occurs in the brain. Often, they are mild reactions but can be severe.
- Cellulitis. This a bacterial infection that occurs on the skin and can occur during chickenpox.
- Death. This is a very rare case in terms of chickenpox.
How Chickenpox Spreads
Chickenpox can be spread through airborne droplets such as coughing, sneezing or coming in contact with the fluids of an infected person. Coming in contact with the skin of an infected person is another way chickenpox can be transmitted. People infected by chickenpox will be contagious for one or two days and possibly up to five days in the worst cases.
How to Manage Chickenpox
- Get some rest. The symptoms of chickenpox can take a heavy toll on your body. You will feel weak, light-headed, common cold as well as overall poor mental and physical health. The best way to manage this is to make sure you’re getting enough rest and not pushing yourself too hard. This may worsen your condition.
- Drink Extra Fluids. During this time, your body needs as much energy and fresh fluid as possible. Dehydration will worsen your overall condition and can lead to other health complications. It’s important to hydrate with plenty of water and drinks with electrolytes. This will help to increase blood circulation, as well as boost your immune system to fight off your illness.
- Paracetamol. This is one of the most popular medicines to consume as it is easy to obtain, low cost and isn’t too strong of a drug. Paracetamol is ideal for people with chickenpox is it helps to bring down high body temperatures and also promotes better rest. Try to stay away from aspirin as it may increase the risk of other complications.
- Stay Warm. Ensure you have enough covers in bed and that you are dressed well at all times. You mustn’t let your fever or body temperature get out of hand and cause you further problems. Running a warm bath with baking soda or oatmeal may help keep you warm while also calming and soothing your inflamed skin.
When Should I See a Doctor?
Chickenpox shares many different symptoms that may also belong to other medical conditions or serious illnesses. If you are experiencing, or know someone who is, any of the above symptoms, you need to seek medical attention at first notice.
No matter what illness or disease it may be, seeing a doctor will always mean you’re playing it safe. Especially for people who belong to a higher risk category of chickenpox, don’t wait to reach a critical stage to confirm if its chickenpox. Act on it immediately and contact your doctor.
Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.
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