Anyone that has had chicken pox knows it can be very unpleasant.  It is caused by the varicella zoster virus and affects people at different degrees.  Once the virus has been transmitted you won’t know you have it until you start seeing spots appear.  Unfortunately, you become infectious two days prior to this which can be a nuisance and a sneaky way for the virus to ensure it gets itself passed around.

How can you Catch Chicken Pox?

The spots that develop are full of bacteria and scratching helps to release these, spread the infection and cause scaring.

Chicken pox can be caught by just being near someone with the virus either whilst having a face to face conversation or even just being in the same room for about 15 minutes.  Touching the blisters or an object the person has been in contact with (that has been contaminated) can also help pass the virus on.

(Check out Mr Squishy’s chicken pox!!!!!)

Would you believe we had a spate of it in the children’s school and neither of my girls managed to catch it even though we did all of the above.  The girls even went to a friends house with the intention of catching the virus so we could get it over and done with – you’ve all heard of chicken pox parties haven’t you, well we were trying a chicken pox playdate.  I remember watching the girls actually touching their friends chicken pox and sods law we got nadda, not a blooming sausage, how frustrating!  We had even gotten the kids to get extremely close in desperation and still ziltch.  Another playdate with a contaminated child eventually resulted in success to my surprise having given up hope.  Insane hey, wanting to get a virus but there is method in my madness.

As we age our skin loses the ability to heal as well as when we are younger so when those dreaded itchy chicken pox get scratched an adult is more likely to be left with scar tissue.  As well as this it’s better to get it out of the way as a child as it won’t cause such a great impact on their school work at the lower levels.  It is also suggested that getting chicken pox from someone that is not a family member is better than when it is passed from one sibling to the next it seems the sibling that gets it next will get it worse than the brother or sister that had it initially.  I strongly agree with this having seen it progress as it went from one of my children to the next.  This is thought to be due to the increased exposure they get as they are in greater contact with siblings than children at school.  Another reason why getting this virus is better in childhood is that it result in more serve symptoms in adults.

I know some might wonder why we don’t just get children vaccinated to prevent them getting it in the first place.  The vaccination is not available on the NHS for healthy children so can cost up to £100 not much in the scheme of things but what is an important factor to consider is that if you get Chicken pox and are then re exposed to the virus later the you get an added boost in your immunity against shingles which trust me you really don’t want!

Chicken pox will normally last for 10 to 20 days and during the infectious stage (before the spots form scars) children do not go to school as they can of course infect others and also cause a possible risk to any expectant mothers that they may come in contact with.

Treating the Itching

Treating the itching of chicken pox is super easy and it has become much more refined in this day and age.  Gone are the days of slopping the dreaded stinky Calamine Lotion all over your body with the aim to cover all the spots.  That was my first go to when my kiddies had it because I had had it as a child but tracking down the stuff proved to be harder than I had initially expected.  I then thought I would try going down the natural route and made an oat bath as this has a natural demulcent action (relives inflammation and irritation).  The problem with this was getting it to cover the whole body and you had to have the oats in a muslin bag and squeeze this to get the best results which was pretty messy – thankfully it was in the bath.

 I am aware that some use antihistamines orally to help prevent children scratching especially at night but we didn’t do this.  Another product that I discovered was available is Care Virasoothe.  This seems to be available everywhere so was the obvious choice.  Not only will you find it in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda it is also available in Boots and Lloyds pharmacy.

The Care Virasoothe is so much easier to apply than Calamine Lotion as it comes in either gel or spray-gel form and it really does seem to have a cooling effect on the skin and relieve itching so will assist in reducing the chance of scarring.  Both forms are easy to apply and are messy free.  Now for the science part – don’t worry it’s brief.  The product utilises a unique osmotic action – drawing water from the dermis (lower level of the skin) into the epidermis (upper level of the skin) creating a cooling effect as it evaporates.  Not only does this relieve the irritation but also protects the skin’s environment, allowing it to heal naturally which can help reduce long-term scarring.

It can be used from 6 months of age and is available from Boots, Pharmacies and Supermarkets nationwide.  It’s soothing effect has been clinically proven to work which is also good to know.

Have you had chicken pox yet?  If so what did you use to treat it?

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90 thoughts on “Soothing Chicken Pox”

  1. Oh my goodness .. I can sure remember when my brother and I were little and the chicken pox went around our school. It was awful. Yep, my mom broke out the Calamine lotion and we looked like we’d been painted with pink polka dots. Plus, I remember it rubbed off on everything we touched. I’m so glad there’s a better solution!

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  2. My little boy has had chicken pox and scarlet fever this year. He was really lucky with chicken pox, despite having lots of spots, he didn’t have any itching at all so we didn’t use any creams. We haven’t planned our summer hols yet but hope to have a (sunny!) UK holiday.

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  3. My daughter had chickenpox when she was little then got shingles when she was about 10 – certainly no fun. Hopefully it won’t come back again because it’s really painful.
    Cheryl
    x

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  4. Great post. My 2 little Witches haven’t had chicken pox yet, so thanks for the advice. I was hoping they had it before starting Nursery. My son is 16 and has never had chicken pox. My partner got them in his 30’s!!

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  5. I totally get why you wanted your children to catch chicken pox – it’s actually quite a relief when they get it over and done with, isn’t it? x

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    1. Oh no. I hope that you did and didn’t realise. Some can get a very mild version of this with just a few spots and not realise although it doesn’t happen often.

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  6. I’ve never had chicken pox and neither have the kids yet but I’ll definitely be picking up some Virasoothe just to have on hand. Thanks so much for the great advice.

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  7. I am not sure if I have had chickenpox before but I do remember having something as a kid and it was so itchy mum lathered as with Calamine lotion or something similar. Good to know about Vira Soothe

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    1. I think that you will have had it then most do as a child. The Care Virasoothe is a great addition to the treatments available for soothing the itch of chicken pox.

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  8. We have chicken pox going around in the nursery school and I am hoping that Sebby catches sooner rather than later – he has been around it a few times but not had it yet

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  9. I haven’t heard about Vira Soothe before, going to make a mental memo of it for when I have children. Wonder whether it would also help for soothe for itchy bites as well.

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  10. I have never had the chicken pox and my kids haven’t either. My husband had it as a child and he said it was bad. I don’t know how I was lucky enough to never get it as a child. It does sound painful and the urge to not scratch is strong, but I know it is not good to scratch.

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  11. I got chicken pox a week after my first birthday, so was very small, even ended up in hospital. But glad it’s over and done with. I still have faint marks but hopefully they will disappear over the years. We’ve heard of Chicken Pox Parties too!

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  12. OH I remember this well! Having twins with Chickenpox was no fun, and I almost bought shares in calamine lotion! This gel looks like a great idea, and anything that helps is a bonus!!

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  13. I had chicken pox when I was about 3 I think – I don’t remember it too much, but I think medicines and treatments to ease the pain of the pox has definitely improved since the 80s! x

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  14. Oh I remember when my eldest son caught it at 9 years old then his other 2 brothers got it also . My youngest son wsn’t that bad with it but he was only 3 and he still ran me ragged nothing fazed him , my second eldest was covered but tried so much to stop scratching but I plastered him in calomine lotion to prevent the itching. My eldest…. he was bad with it left scars all over him from where he scratched lol I’m just glad that all got it together and not in stages

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  15. Oscar is due to start school in September and I’ve been worried about him catching chicken pox as I’ve never had them (I even got away without catching them when my eldest had them). I’ll get some of this in just in case of an emergency as it sounds fab 🙂

    Louise x

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  16. Thanks for all the advice and information. I didn’t know that chicken pox was more likely to scar the older you get it. It’s interesting that a lot of people (most?) have at least one chicken pox scar somewhere visible, but we’re so used to seeing them that we accept it; I love that and I think it shows how important visibility is in the normalisation of “imperfections”.

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  17. We had the chicken pox a few years ago. My little son was literally covered, but he coped so well. We used trusty old calamine lotion which did the trick! When I was a kid I had chicken pox twice!! I still remember the pain of the itchiness! x

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  18. My son has had chicken pox but my two daughters haven’t, I haven’t seen this product before so I used calamine lotion, and piriton for the itching, but will be trying this when my girls do get it xxx

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  19. Luckily I’ve had Chicken Pox but my little fella hasn’t yet. I remember mum covering me in Calamine lotion and it seemed to really help, but I’m gonna look out for the soothing gel…thanks. x

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  20. my eldest daughter has had chicken pox, i wasnt aware of any other products other than Calamine lotion, now im prepared for when my youngest gets them 🙁

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