Home Forums ASK THE EXPERT Pharmacist Expert Chickenpox

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    I have spoken to lots of mums recently whose little ones have been unfortunate enough to catch chickenpox, and thought perhaps posting a piece on it might be useful.

    Chickenpox is a generally mild, very common childhood illness that most children will catch at some time or other. It is a viral illness that appears as a rash of red spots. This rash may be wide spread over the body or appear as just a few spots. The spots quickly form fluid filled blisters which burst and scab over after a couple of days. Patients may feel generally unwell or experience flu like symptons or swollen glands a couple of days before the rash appears.

    The chickenpox rash is very itchy but it is best not to scratch it (easier said than done with children) so it is advisable to cut your child’s nails short and/or use mittens. Calamine lotion can help with the itch. Hygeine is very important during chickenpox so to avoid infecting the blisters.

    Chickenpox is most contagious on days 1-5 before the rash appears and for 4-5 days after. It is asdvisable to keep children off school until the last of the blisters has crusted over. Chickenpox can sometines affect the inside of the mouth or eyes. In this case you may need to see your GP. In rare instances other serious complications can occur but it is on the whole a mild and limited illness.

    Once you have had chickenpox you should have immunity from it in the future, however the virus can return in later life as shingles. Pregnant women, very young babies and anyone with a comprimised immune system should avoid coming into contact with chickenpox.

    For anymore information or if you have any questions regarding chickenpox you can ask your local pharmacist or contact your GP.




    Just reading your article on the Chickenpox and was wondering – my son (3 1/2) developed 4 red spots on his torso last night and today they have like yellow wattery heads on them. I have checked his head and he has one at the nape of his neck.

    I took him into Boots and they told me that it is Chickenpox.

    Generally he is quite well and in good form but has a nasty cough, runny nose and tired looking eyes. He also is very pale.

    I am just wondering if this sounds like Chickenpox and if so what are the chances of my two other children catching them. My daughter is making her Communion in 2 weeks and to be honest this is the last thing I need to happen 🙁

    Also will the amount of spots increase or will he just have the few.

    They couldnt have come at a worse time 🙄


    It sounds like chicken pox alright. The spots develop over 24/48 hour period, so kids end up covered others only a handful of spots… the incubation period is 21 days, so if siblings are going to get chicken pox its usually 3 weeks from point of infection.


    Hi Taylor

    Thanks for that info.

    Just after checking him there and he has 3 more. Thats a total of 7 since last night.

    On the incubation period and 3 weeks and all that stuff – basically you are saying that there is a high possibility that my daughter could have them for her Holy Communion!!!!!!!!!! 🙁


    i know families who had 2 and 3 kids and 1 would have had chicken pox and the others never contracted the chicken pox, she might get them she might not!! Dont worry about something that hasnt happened yet, if she gets them she has them not much you can do!!!
    She might be lucky as it sounds like a mild dose only 7 spots, some kids could get 30/40 spots in a few hours…


    Oh no, you’ll be on pox watch now for the next few weeks! they usually get them within 2-3 weeks of each other so hopefully if they do get them, it will be after the communion and she will be pox free for the day.

    our 3 kids broke out last year the week before we went on holiday (our first holiday in 3 years!!) we went to doc day before we were due to fly thinking she would advise us not to but she said go ahead, they were well past being contagious and would be grand.

    we went and had a blast – so hopefully it will not put a damper on her special day!


    Sabbi you were very lucky! My sisters was away with her friend 2 years ago, her friends child got chicken pox on the first day of the holiday, he still had spots on his body on the way home, they were clearing up but he did look terrible…. TAP airlines wouldnt let him fly, my sister took her 2 other kids home and she had to stay, then the airlines were closed due to ash cloud! She had to drive from Portugal, across France and Ferry it home!!


    I was told that they are contagious until the last spot crusts over – a child indd’s creche was sent in twice when obviously not over chickenpox and chickenpox ended up being right through the whole creche – any other time a child has had it now they stick to their rules on when the child can come back and only a handful have caught the other 2 times it’s been in the creche.
    My friend was in Portugal when her twin daughters came down with Chickenpox and they were not allowed to fly – they had to get a doctor’s cert in order to be cleared to fly home


    They must be very strict in Portugal and kids flying!


    it was a few yrs ago Taylor so don’t know now – they took the girls to a doctor – who told them they’d need a letter from him to confirm they were no longer contagious

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