Chicken pox FAQ

 How long does the rash last?

In general, the lesions stop popping up about two to three days after the first one appeared. It then takes about three days for the lesions to crust over.

How long is someone with chicken pox contagious?

The most contagious time occurs when the person is going through the cold-like symptoms which is usually two to five days before the rash shows up. Therefore, the time in which someone is most contagious occurs before the person even knows he has chicken pox! After the rash appears, the person is infectious for about 5 days or until all the lesions have begun crusting over. This does not mean the lesions need to have gone away or fallen off, just crusted over.

When can my child go back to school/daycare?

The official recommendation is six days after the rash begins. They may return even earlier if all the lesions have crusted over before this time. However, despite what experts say, daycare facilities and schools often have their own idiosyncratic rules that may require the child to stay out longer than this. If this is the case, sometimes it is helpful to have a pediatrician come and talk with the daycare facility or school about what is medically the optimal time to exclude these children.

How are the symptoms of chicken pox treated?

Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done to completely eliminate the symptoms once a child is infected with chicken pox. Therefore, treatment is geared to trying to alleviate the pain, itch, and fever of chicken pox.

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