My daughter recently was exposed to a child who was “getting over” the Chicken Pox. Realizing that we may be in for it next, I decided to read up on the subject and create a little cheat-sheet for all of us busy mamas. Here’s what I discovered.
Chickenpox is a virus which usually starts with a fever and headache, about seven to twenty-one days after exposure. One or two days later, little bumps appear on the skin, which burst and form a crust. Those blisters are extremely contagious and itchy. Once the scabs are gone, the person is no longer contagious. It can run its course in about two weeks, unless the person has a weakened immune system. Chickenpox can be dangerous for unborn babies, infants and the elderly.
So, how to deal with it? One of my favorite go-to books “Prescription for Natural Healing” by Phyllis Balch, CNC (2006) gives this advice:
(Recommendations are for adults. Chidren ages 12-17, reduce dose by one quarter. Children 6-12, reduce by half, and children under 6, use one-quarter the amount advised).
- A carotenoid complex with beta carotene (15,000 IU daily) will help stimulate the immune system and repair tissue.
- Vitamin A (capsules or emulsion), starting at 20,000 IU daily for 1 month, and reducing weekly. This will help heal tissues. Emulsions are more easily absorbed and assimilated at higher doses, but pregnant women should not take more than 10,000 IU a day.
- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids at 1,000 mg, at morning, noon, evening, and night. Not only does this stimulate the immune system, but helps to keep down a fever.
- Drink fresh juices and pure vegetable broth. Add brewer’s yeast or protein powder to liquids. Stick to uncooked foods.
- For itchiness: Take warm baths in uncooked oatmeal or cornstarch (just add to bath water and stir). You can also sponge-bathe skin with catnip tea. Wet compresses may also help control itching.
- Cut fingernails and discourage scratching. A terrible side-effect would be a bacterial infection due to dirty sores. Mittens on small children may help.
- Never give aspirin to a child with a fever.
- If symptoms are severe, such as loss of coordination, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, tremors, vomiting, stiff neck, or fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit occurs, seek medical help immediately.
- Keep patient out of bright sunlight and keep indoor areas dimly lit.
- Limit exposure to family members who have not had Chickenpox. New research shows that multiple exposures to the virus can actually worsen the symptoms for the next person.
- If you are pregnant and have been exposed for the first time, see a doctor immediately.
TIP: Print out this cheat sheet so you’ll be ready when the pox strikes your family!
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical doctor. Seek the help of a qualified health care provider if you have any concerns about Chickenpox.