How do I fight chickenpox

chickenpox

The incubation period of chickenpox after infection is between eight days and three weeks. One to two days before the first changes appear on the skin, at the beginning of the chickenpox there is usually a slight fever and malaise. In the initial stage, the first reddening occurs, which develops into small blisters. After about three to five days, the blisters dry out, leaving scabs.

The rash usually starts in the trunk and face and spreads over the body from there. However, the palms and soles of the feet are mostly spared.

Duration of chickenpox and scars

The duration of chickenpox is five days to a week. After all the blisters dry out, the sick person is no longer contagious. Usually the skin heals completely. Scars can only remain if the person concerned scratches open the blisters due to the severe itching.

In some cases it can develop in the course of chickenpox too Complications come. The most common complication is an additional bacterial infection of scratched blisters by bacteria such as staphylococci or streptococci. Such an infection also increases the chances of leaving scars. In addition, what is known as varicella pneumonia, an inflammation of the lungs, can occur, which is more common in adults. It usually develops three to five days after the onset of the disease. Pregnant women are particularly at risk. In 0.1 percent of chickenpox cases, manifestations also arise in the central nervous system.

Chickenpox and Shingles

Anyone who has ever developed chickenpox can develop shingles later in lifebecause the chickenpox virus, albeit inactive, remains in the body. Usually immunocompromised people or the elderly are affected. Shingles cause severe burning or boring pain in the trunk, neck or shoulder area. On one side of the body, band-like vesicles appear somewhat delayed. The disease heals after two to four weeks. Shingles is less severe in people vaccinated against chickenpox. Children with shingles also suffer less and the severe pain often does not occur.

Chickenpox in adults

Chickenpox in adults is more severe than in children. The symptoms are more pronounced and often more vesicles form than in small children. As an adult, the risk of complications from chickenpox also increases. These include, for example, bacterial superinfections or pneumonia.

There is also a certain risk of chickenpox during pregnancy. The chickenpox virus is rarely passed on via the placenta. However, one to two percent of pregnant women with chickenpox develop fetal varicella syndrome if the chickenpox occurs between the fifth and the 24th week of pregnancy. As a result, skin changes such as scars, eye damage or even skeletal anomalies can occur in the child.

If a mother who does not have antibodies becomes infected with the chickenpox virus between five days before giving birth and two days afterwards, it can also have a severe course neonatal chickenpox occur. The newborn does not yet have antibodies and also has a weak immune system, so that the chickenpox is often severe and in up to 30 percent can even lead to the death of the baby.

Chickenpox in babies and children

In the vast majority of cases, children are affected by chickenpox. In 90 percent of all cases, the sick are not yet 20 years old. Among those under 20 years of age, the highest probability of the disease is found in small children between the ages of three and six years.

But babies and infants can also get chickenpox. The STIKO therefore recommends the first vaccination between the ages of eleven and fourteen months.

In many cases, however, newborns already bring protection with them. When women who have had chickenpox before have babies, they pass on their antibodies to the baby. The Babies and infants develop what is known as nest protection. However, this does not last forever, but only for the first few months of life.