The best tried and tested chickenpox treatments

Best Chickenpox treaments

by Hannah James |

When your child contracts chickenpox, it can be very frightening. Your perfect child will suddenly be covered in spots. Don't panic: nearly all children will get chickenpox at some point. But it can be very difficult to know what to do to help. There is no specific treatment. The good news is there are over-the-counter remedies which may help your little one to deal with the symptoms. Within two weeks, the spots will blister and should naturally crust over and fall off without any need for further intervention. This article includes my personal experience with the best chickenpox treatments.

Related: A guide to baby rashes and how to work out the cause

How to recognise chickenpox

The NHS website states that the main symptom of chickenpox is an itchy spotty rash which can appear anywhere on the body. Unfortunately, this includes inside the mouth, around the genitals and on the scalp. Depending on your child's skin tone, they may be pink, red or a darker colour. If your child has black or brown skin, it can be harder to spot.

My son's chickenpox
©Hannah James

Before the spots appear, your child may begin to feel unwell. It is common for a child to have a high temperature, aches and pains or a loss of appetite. However, each child is different, and they may not have any symptoms at all before the spots appear.

Once the spots appear, they will fill with fluid. It is essential not to try and pop the spots. Although they can be itchy, try to discourage your little one from scratching them as this can leave to scarring.

Your little one will need to stay at home, and if possible, away from other children whilst they have chickenpox - although we appreciate this isn't always possible if you have more than one child. It is because chickenpox are highly contagious. Once your little ones' spots have burst and scabbed over, they can return to normal social life. Just be aware that scabs can take a few weeks to disappear.

The best chickenpox treatments

Calpol Sugar Free Infant Suspension Medication

Writer's choice
Calpol Sugar Free Infant Suspension Medication
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There are not a lot of illnesses that can't be helped by Calpol: it has been a go-to for mums for decades. This is because it is gentle on your little one's tummy but is great for tackling the pain. Calpol can help to bring down your child's fever should they become unwell with chickenpox. 

My experience: "When my two toddlers became ill with chickenpox, I had no clue what to do. For weeks I had seen a notice on the front of the nursery door stating that children may have been exposed. But, it was still a shock when they became unwell. After frantically Googling all of their symptoms, I was confident they had chickenpox. My two-year-old was complaining that he felt very unwell. Calpol was brilliant at helping his pain. I kept him topped up every four hours at the dose stated on the box. By the end of the day, he was playing as usual, albeit while looking very spotty."

PoxClin CoolMousse Chicken Pox Treatment for Children

Best chickenpox foam
PoxClin CoolMousse Chicken Pox Treatment for Children
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PoxClin is a foam mouse which helps relieve the symptoms of chickenpox. This in turn reduces the likelihood of permanent scarring. The mouse is intended for large areas of the body and dries very quickly, without leaving any residue.

My experience: " Once the spots had all come out, it was hard to stop my toddlers from itching. I achieved this by telling my eldest son he might turn into a chicken - parenting at its best. But my two-year-old wasn't easily scared. This product was wonderful. It was easy to put on, and I could very quickly see the relief it gave to both my children."

ViraSoothe Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel

Best cooling gel
ViraSoothe Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel - 75g

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Boots

This clinically proven cool gel helps to relieve the irritating symptoms. It contains OSMO Care, a patented technology which has been clinically proven to offer relief by cooling the skin and thereby reducing itching.

My experience: " I used this for my eldest as the moose was unavailable at first. He had significantly fewer spots than my other son, but with Virasoothe, he seemed to be unbothered by the spots. His spots healed very quickly, and he did not have any scarring afterwards. I used this regularly throughout the week he was unwell."

AVEENO Baby, Soothing Oat Bath Soak, 5 x 21g Bath sachets

Best oat milk
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Oat milk has been an age-old remedy for soothing dry or irritated skin. Oats can provide amazing bacteria-battling properties.

My experience: "I previously tried to make oat milk with bath with porridge oat in a pair of old tights. It was a disaster. The tights were ruined, and there was a lot of mess. So when I learned that Aveeno had created an easy-to-use bath soak, I was delighted. The oats have been ground into a powder which you sprinkle into your child's bath. I found this was great for the boys when they had chickenpox. I didn't want to use any products that may irritate their skin further, so this was perfect."

AVEENO Baby, Soothing Oat Bath Soak, 5 x 21g Bath sachets

Best bath soak
AVEENO Baby, Soothing Oat Bath Soak
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This soap-free wash is perfect for bath time when your little ones have chickenpox. It is proven to help relieve dry skin.

My experience: "I was recommended this by my doctor when my son was suffering from very dry skin. So I knew exactly what to use when the boys' skin became inflamed with chickenpox. This body wash allowed me to clean their skin without having to worry about whether it would aggravate it further."

AVEENO Baby Soothing Relief Emollient Cream

Recommended baby cream
AVEENO Baby Soothing Relief Emollient Cream
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After your little one is nice and clean, you may want to pop on a little bit of cream. Fragranced creams may cause irritation and make your little ones want to scratch. That said, this cream is enriched with vitamin E and oat oil. It is clinically proven to soothe the skin for 24 hours.

My experience: "Once my children's spots began to settle down, I was keen to keep them well moisturised to promote healing. However, I was very mindful not to add anything that would make it worse. I applied a little bit of Aveeno soothing relief after their baths. It was great for helping the skin get back to normal."

E45 Dermatological Itch Relief Cream

E45 Dermatological Itch Relief Cream
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E45 Itch Relief Cream contains an anti-itch ingredient, Lauromacrogols, which act as an anaesthetic and soothes the itch caused by skin conditions. Parents love E45 because it is non-greasy and helps with lots of different skin conditions.

My experience: " Once the spots had all burst (and the chickenpox treatments had run out), I returned to using E45 on the children's skin. I found this helped the skin to heal very quickly. Throughout the following weeks, I would try to apply this cream every few hours to ensure that the skin was hydrated."

FAQS

Is there anything I can do to prevent my child getting chickenpox?

The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. The chickenpox vaccine is very safe and effective at preventing the disease. Speak to your GP about the benefits of the vaccination.

How long is the isolation period for chickenpox?

Your child must stay home from when the spots first appear to when they have scabbed over. Your child should not engage in any social activities outside the home or go to school whilst they still have chickenpox spots. Usually, the spots will scab over within a week. If you are unsure whether your child can go to school, contact your GP.

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