Dear Aunt Juniper,
My child has chicken pox and is utterly miserable. He has spots all in his mouth, his nappy and all over his body. He’s so sad and I can’t stand seeing him screaming all the time. What can I do to make things easier for him?’
From, Dad of Spotty Child
Dear Dad of Spotty Child,
If your child has chicken pox, it is normally uncomplicated and they will get better on their own within a week. It is not unusual to get chicken pox in the mouth. Can give paracetamol, bonjela or difflam spray and cold drinks.
Most children will feel a bit unwell may have a temperature and spots can be itchy. Best to keep them cool, you can give paracetamol to keep their temperature down. A regular application of calamine can help or administer some piriton.
It is very rare to get complications from chicken pox. However if they have chicken pox in the mouth make sure they have adequate pain relief and make sure they continue to drink. If they become dehydrated they need to see a Dr.
Also any chicken pox in or around the eye needs to be reviewed.
Persistent high temperature, redness or infected pox should be taken to the GP. If your child has excessive drowsiness, confusion or vomiting, take them to A&E.
Lots of Love
Aunt Juniper* xx
*On this occasion Aunt Juniper was Wing-She Chan, a GP.
Wing-She is a Full time GP in Dartford. She graduated from Sheffield in 2000, started her career in obs and gynae then decided to change to become a GP in 2007 with a special interest in family planning. She loves what she does and has not looked back since.
FROM THE MUMMY’S GIN FUND FACEBOOK COLLECTIVE:
Treating the itch
‘Bicarbonate of soda in bath water and lots of baths will help with the itching.’
‘We found that Aveeno cream was more soothing for him than Virasoothe/PoxClin. Aveno bath oil also helped to soothe when we poured the bath water over him.’
‘Calamine lotion – get a paint brush – you can have loads of fun painting the body!’
‘Calamine and aqueous cream (already combined) work really well and doesn’t run off like usual calamine lotion. Think you can buy it over-the-counter. Also, offer lots of liquids to keep hydrated as their appetite may go.’
‘I found Piriton for kids helped.’
‘Piriton, calamine lotion and Calpol was all I used. We were housebound until they scabbed over. It was about five days or so.’
‘Use PoxClin – available over-the-counter at pharmacies – it worked wonders on my son and the spots quickly went and left no scarring. It seems to stop the itching instantly and he wasn’t in any discomfort at all, amazing stuff!’
‘Calamine gel is easier to apply than calamine lotion if your little ones are very little and wriggly (from pharmacies and supermarkets) or a gel called Virasoothe Chicken Pox Relief Gel.’
‘Porridge oats are meant to ease the itching. You can put a handful in a sock, old tights or muslin, add it to a bath and squeeze the milk out.’
‘Virasoothe, oats in the bath, calamine all over, Piriton and Calpol/Ibuprofen for the pain, a bit of choc here and there and plenty of cuddles!’
‘Nurofen for the pain and Virasoothe for the spots.’
‘Check for more behind the ears and on the head. If it is I highly recommend getting your wee one in a bath of bicarbonate of soda.’
‘We made a paste with bicarbonate of soda and a drop of water and just left that on the pox. It helped stop the itching for a while.’
‘Calamine aqueous cream is soooooo much better than the lotion.’
‘Witch-hazel works wonders. Either dab on to the spots neat, or pour into a lukewarm bath that your child can play in, which distracts them from scratching as well.’
‘Aloe vera (alcohol-free gel) worked for us.’
‘Dead Sea salts in a tepid bath helped dry them out in our cases. Once they are dry, oats in tights in the bath to put the moisture back. We used calamine aqueous too through the day.’
‘PoxClin was recommended and worked for us but Virasoothe didn’t. We gave it with Piriton and Calpol for the temperature and at nighttime. Also take an old pair of tights, put porridge in them and tie a knot then run a bath and hold the bag under the warm tap – it makes the water all cloudy but does miracles for itching.’
‘Eurax cream stopped the itching for my little one.’
‘Witch-hazel gel worked for my little one – it’s cold and stopped her itching.’
‘We are using the aqueous calamine cream in a tube – you can keep it in the fridge and it keeps it nice and cool.’
‘In the mouth and throat
‘If on the mouth and in throat I would see GP if your child has any cough at all. In rare circumstances it can make children really poorly. Keep up the pain relief so your child drinks lots else they will get dehydrated.’
‘Offer ice lollies for poorly throats and to combat dehydration. Make your own with fruit/juice and water as it cuts down on sugar intake but when they’re this poorly I often turn a blind eye to that!’
‘Not from experience, but just an idea, sips of aloe vera or teaspoonful of Manuka honey, both from health food shops. They’re full of goodness and may be soothing on the throat.’
‘Maybe some kind of porridge smoothie or ice cream, if you have the time to make, might help.’
‘In the nappy area
‘I used Sudocrem as there’s a lot of zinc in it which helps dry them out.’
‘Go nappy-free as much as possible.’
‘Dead sea salts in the bath will scab over within hours – worked for my kids – no scratching at all!’
‘More regular changes – every 1½ hrs to make sure wee doesn’t moisten them.’
‘You could try Lanacane.’
‘I gave my daughter two bicarbonate of soda baths a day to keep the area clean and just changed her nappy very often. When they looked really itchy I put Sudacrem on them to soothe. They won’t scab over in same way as ones on other parts of the body but they do eventually fade. With my daughter, they were definitely the last ones to disappear.’
After the pox – when will the scars fade?
‘I had some that took years to fade. Massaging Bepanthen in regularly should help, but it’ll take time.’
‘My eldest boy had a huge scar on the crown. I thought he would look like he’s balding forever! However, if you looked now you’d never find it. They go. His was after a year I guess.’
‘They mostly fade with time but the deep ones can stay.’
‘I would use some Bio Oil but they will fade anyway. I have one from childhood and no one but me knows it’s there. Not even partner and children have ever spotted it!’
Note: These are suggestions from members of Mummy’s Gin Fund based on experience and should not be treated as official advice. Any action taken is at your own risk. Always seek professional advice if you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of your life.
Always consult NHS 111, your GP, health visitor or A&E for professional medical advice.