The varicella virus, also known as chicken pox, is highly contagious for those who haven’t had it or who aren’t vaccinated against it. In the early 1990’s, an average of 4 million people in the U.S. contracted chicken pox and it wasn’t until a vaccine was released in 1995 that we saw a dramatic decline. Besides the telltale itchy red bumps, the infection can also cause a fever, loss of appetite, headaches and tiredness.
If you or your child has the chicken pox, make an appointment to see your primary care provider right away. Most especially if the symptoms include:
- A rash occurring by one or both eyes
- The rash getting very red, warm or tender
- Dizziness, disorientation, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, tremors, loss of muscle coordination, worsening cough, vomiting, stiff neck or a fever higher than 102 F (38.9 C)
- Anyone in the household is immune deficient or younger than 6 months old
Also there are those that can have greater risk of complications such as:
- Newborns and infants whose mothers never had chickenpox or the vaccine
- Pregnant women who haven't had chickenpox
- People whose immune systems are impaired/suppressed by medication or other diseases
- People who are taking steroid medications
Having the chicken pox is miserable for kids and their parents. I had it and recall that no amount of cartoons or important kid stuff made me feel any better. I think I cried most of the time and got scolded throughout the day to not touch or scratch the bumps. Where I did find relief is from the oatmeal baths my mother gave me. Oatmeal is very soothing for itchy skin and you can see the full recipe here https://www.botanicaltherapy.com/underground/2016/6/19/oatmeal-bath
Another great ingredient for itching is lavender essential oil which: relieves inflammation and pain, is soothing and great at relieving stress and anxiety. You can easily make your own relief (please note, it’s a relief not a remedy) at home with just two ingredients:
Chicken Pox Relief Oil
- 1-3 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 Tablespoon of a carrier oil (Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, etc.)
- Pour a tablespoon of a carrier oil into a cup
- To the cup add 1 drop of lavender essential oil for babies, 2 drops for young children, and 3 drops for teenagers
- Mix well
- With clean hands, apply the oil blend in a light layer directly to the bumps while avoiding those that are close to the eyes, nose, mouth and other sensitive areas
- Wash your hands afterwards and disinfect the spoon and cup after each use
- I highly recommend making a new batch each time you need it as you’re putting your fingers back and forth in the blend after you have touched the person’s skin.
If you or your child aren’t fond of lavender, you can use peppermint essential oil instead. I’ve experienced a child not liking a blend for something I had made them because it smelled like something mommy would use; they preferred to smell like daddy. The beauty of essential oils is that many of them share common properties and can be interchangeable based on scent preference.
Until next time, discover the power of your kitchen cupboard and the endless cartoons available online.
- Chicken Pox. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chickenpox/symptoms-causes/syc-20351282
- Monitoring the Impact of Varicella Vaccination. (2016, July 1). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/surveillance/monitoring-varicella.html