Chicken Pox

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. Chicken pox has affected some of the children in our neighbourhood. How can we best prepare ourselves for when/if our children contract it.

A. Chickenpox is a highly infectious viral disease caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus and transmitted by airborne droplets or by direct contact with the spots on a person with chickenpox. It is characterized by an itchy rash or dark red pimples on the skin. The incubation period for chickenpox is 2-3 weeks. The infectious period commences 1 day before the rash appears and continues until the scabs fall off.

Management of the intense itch involves anything from rhus tox homoeopathic remedy, pinetarsal baths, calamine lotion and aloe vera gel. This intensely itchy phase usually lasts only 2-3 days. Keep fingernails short, or wear gloves.

Then you need to focus on healing the crusty lesions such that they don’t scar. This requires zinc and vitamin A cream, or Kiwiherb Calendula ointment to accelerate the healing process.

Enhance your child’s immunity now by giving Kiwiherb Echinacea or cod liver oil which is rich in vitamin A. Eat foods rich in iron and zinc such as meat, fish, and dark leafy vegetables. With a strong immune system, the body will cope with the virus better, with less risk of secondary complications.

Some may choose to vaccinate against chicken pox – ask your doctor.

Avoid contact with grandparents or those who are immuno-compromised at this time, as the same virus can give shingles to susceptible people. This is extremely unpleasant.