Chicken pox used to be one of many contagious diseases that were almost rites-of-passage of childhood. Since newborn vaccinations against chicken pox became standard in the mid 1990’s, most children have not suffered like their parents did from the intensely itchy, watery blisters, fever, and body aches that are the hallmarks of chicken pox. But that does not mean the disease is no longer a concern.
Even vaccinated children can still contract chicken pox, but with much milder symptoms. In fact, some cases can be so mild that they go undetected or are misdiagnosed.
When unvaccinated teenagers and adults who manage to escape contracting the varicella zoster virus in childhood do get it, it is usually more severe. Complications from chicken pox are rare, but they do occur, especially in these older patients and those with weakened immune systems. They can include pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). Pregnant women and their fetuses are especially vulnerable to complications from chicken pox. It is important to contact one’s health practitioner if there are any questions about chicken pox or potential complications.
Anyone who has been exposed to chicken pox can develop shingles (herpes zoster), a painful and sometimes itchy skin rash later. Scientists have conflicting opinions about whether a largely-vaccinated population is preventing or actually contributing to more cases of shingles.
It is thought that adults who had chicken pox in childhood get boosts of immunity against shingles occasionally when they are exposed to the virus when in the presence of infected children. With at least sixty-percent of infants being vaccinated now, some researchers think this lack of exposure to infected children is causing cases of shingles to rise, while others maintain that fewer cases of chicken pox can only translate into fewer cases of shingles in the greater population.
But however, whenever, or how severely one gets chicken pox, one fact is indisputable: those blisters itch. Doctors may prescribe antihistamines to control the itching, and, fortunately, there are many natural remedies one can use to ease the itching and other symptoms a case of chicken pox can bring. Tea tree oil, calamine lotion, honey, calendula, turmeric paste, lavender oil and aloe vera gel can be applied directly to blisters to alleviate itching. Refrigerating topical treatments before they are applied can make them especially soothing.
Others find relief from soaking in a bath of lukewarm water to which natural ingredients have been added. Oatmeal is often recommended for skin problems. It is most effective when the oats are ground to a very fine consistency. This helps them mix with the water and adhere to the skin better. Alternatively, the oats can be tied in a muslin or cheesecloth bag and allowed to steep in the bathwater or held under running water.
Other bath tonics include green pea water – the water in which green peas were cooked – and additives including herbs like St. John’s wort, yarrow, and peppermint just to name a few.
More help is available in the form of herbal teas like chamomile, basil, and marigold. Boneset, burdock and catnip can help reduce fever.
While not everyone will have to suffer from a severe case of chicken pox, there are natural remedies available for those who find themselves in an itchy situation!
About the Author:
Shannon Pollock has been teaching people about natural health remedies for many years. She is a specialist with experience in natural remedies for both people and animals.
For more information on the natural remedies for chicken pox, as well as other natural health related topics, visit Shannons website called Natural Health Remedies and More.