• Varicella: symptoms and treatment, photo, incubation period

    Chickenpox is an acute anthroponous viral infection, which mainly affects children 5-8 years of age.

    The main symptom of the disease are rashes on mucous membranes and skin in the form of vesicles containing serous fluid. Today we will look at the symptoms and treatment, prevention, photos of chicken pox in children and adults.

    The causative agent of the disease

    The development of varicella causes a virus from the family of herpesviruses, which contains DNA in its genome. The source of infection can only be a person who has shingles or chicken pox.

    Transmission of an infectious agent is carried out by means of an air-drop route.

    Herpesvirus of this type is not resistant to environmental conditions, it quickly dies under the influence of ultraviolet light, solutions of disinfectants, but at low temperatures it can last for a long time.

    Symptoms of chicken pox

    This is predominantly a childhood infection, but adults may also get sick( see chicken pox in adults) who have not previously had this disease.
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    After infection, the first symptoms of chickenpox in children and adults appear on average in a couple of weeks, and the incubation period of chicken pox lasts from 6 to 20 days. The onset of the disease is usually characterized by an increase in temperature. On a background of a fever or in the extremity or end of the first day there are rashes.

    Chickenpox can be localized on any surface of the body, including on the head, mucous membranes, on the genitals and in the airways. Exceptions are only the palms and soles. First, pink spots( roseola) appear on the skin and mucous membranes, which soon turn into nodules. Then, in place of the nodules, bubbles are formed, after the opening of which there are crusts.

    The rash with chickenpox causes severe itching, the child can comb the skin, be capricious, the sleep is disturbed. The number of rashes varies: from one to hundreds of elements. After dropping the crusts, pigment spots usually remain, after a while they disappear. Characteristic is the so-called "podsypanie" skin elements.

    The rash appears as though impulsively for 2-5 days. This is accompanied by new temperature rises. In a small area of ​​the skin, elements of the rash are simultaneously observed in different stages of development( roseola, vesicles, etc.).

    Crusts disappear not earlier than 1-2 weeks from the onset of the disease, when the wound is completely epithelialized. Sometimes bubble rashes swell, as a result of the recovery may remain scars. Especially it is characteristic for adults, in whom the course of chickenpox is usually heavier than in children.

    Another symptom of chickenpox is aphthous stomatitis. It often affects infants. Very mild sores appear on the mucous membrane of the mouth. Because of severe soreness, children can refuse food. Complications of chicken pox
    Chickenpox in a large number of cases is not very serious. But in children with weakened immunity, with concomitant pathology, as well as in adults and elderly people, there may be complications.

    These include:

    • chickenpox pneumonia;
    • of the nervous system( meningoencephalitis, encephalitis, myelitis of herpesvirus etiology);
    • scar's skin changes;
    • lesions of internal organs( kidneys, pancreas, liver, spleen, digestive tract, etc.).
    These complications are caused by the virus itself. But since the causative agent of chickenpox depresses the immune system, secondary infections can join. Often their pathogens are opportunistic microorganisms. They can cause the following complications of chickenpox:

    • stomatitis,
    • gingivitis,
    • purulent parotitis,
    • keratitis( inflammation of the cornea of ​​the eyes),
    • conjunctivitis,
    • otitis, etc.
    It is also possible to develop a severe form of chicken pox: hemorrhagic, bullous, gangrenous. In severe cases, there is a generalization of infection in the body. Especially dangerous is the disease for pregnant women. If the infection occurs in the first trimester, the fetus can be infected in the utero.

    The result can be various deviations in its development. If a woman falls ill at the end of the last trimester, then usually the virus does not cause a noticeable change in the health of the unborn child.

    Treatment of chickenpox

    With a mild course of chicken pox, isolation and treatment of the patient are carried out at home. Hospitalization in an infectious hospital is required in severe cases or in the presence of complications. Also, patients may be hospitalized for epidemiological reasons( for example, if the sick person lives in a dormitory, boarding school or in a family there is a pregnant woman).

    The main condition for the treatment of varicella is the thorough care of the skin and oral cavity. In the period of rashes it is impossible to wash, as with water the virus will get on new sites of a skin.

    In addition, when washing, wounds can be infected with other microbes. Elements of the rash should be lubricated 1-2% diamond green on alcohol or potassium permanganate solution. Well suited aqueous solutions rivanol, methylene blue, which do not irritate the skin and do not cause a burn.

    When crusts are formed, they must be lubricated with petroleum jelly or fatty cream, so that they quickly disappear. If the vesicles and sores appear on the oral mucosa or on the genitals, they must be treated with a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide and 0.05-0.1% rivalol alternately. After the disappearance of the bubbles on the skin, only crusts remain.

    During this period, you can carefully take a bath. During the fever, the patient must ensure peace and bed rest.


    The chickenpox diet should consist of dairy and plant products. For the time of illness, it is necessary to exclude fried, sharp, salty foods, sweet, fatty meat and fish.

    Vegetables and fruits can be boiled, stewed, steamed or baked, but not fried.

    Drug therapy

    If the course of the disease is typical and there are no complications, then medications are rarely prescribed. With severe fever and malaise, detoxification therapy is carried out by intravenous infusion of saline or colloidal solutions.

    Purulent complications of chickenpox are treated with antibacterial drugs. When there is a viral pneumonia, encephalitis or meningitis, antiviral antiherpetic drugs are prescribed. Weakened patients with severe complications intramuscularly injected normal human immunoglobulin and interferon( intravenously).


    In order to prevent chickenpox, the patient should be isolated for the duration of the illness( at least 9 days).After isolation, the premises are ventilated, wet cleaning is carried out. There are no other measures required, since the virus does not appear in 15 minutes because of its instability.

    A sick person ceases to be contagious to others on the fifth day after the last pouring of bubbles. Usually, isolation continues until all crusts fall from the patient's skin.

    Children attending a children's institution are separated for 21 days, that is, they announce a quarantine.

    Vaccine prophylaxis of chickenpox is not carried out. Weakened children with reduced immunity after contact with patients are injected intramuscularly with normal human immunoglobulin.

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