Itch: There are a number of home remedies that may be tried. One of the more helpful is to give the child oatmeal baths. The oatmeal can be quite a pain to clean from the tub, but may give your child significant relief. The oatmeal can be used directly off the grocery shelf or commercial preparations may be purchased, such as Aveeno. Baths do not spread the infection to other parts of the skin. Wet compresses with cool wash cloths may help as well. Be sure to cut the child's fingernails to reduce the risk of the child damaging the skin significantly and leaving it open for infection. Calamine lotion is often used as well to ease the itch. Medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may also help with the itching, although the side effects of sleepiness or, less commonly, agitation may occur. However, this medication should not be given to children under two years of age before speaking with your physician. Your doctor can prescribe other prescription medications, such as hydroxyzine (Atarax), for itching.
Pain: Remember the pox lesions may occur in the mouth as well. Although you want to encourage the child with chicken pox to take in fluids, be sure not give the child anything too salty or acidic, such as orange juice, if these lesions are present in the mouth.
When to get immediate attention
- The skin lesions begin to become more reddened, ooze pus, or become extraordinarily painful
- Fever begins again after having been gone for more than 24 hours