The Prognosis of Chickenpox Varicella and its Complications

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 05, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Chickenpox causes itchy rash and red spots or blisters on the body.
  • People complain of feeling sick, and running a temperature.
  • Rashes appear one to two days after the first symptoms.
  • Children may develop rashes even before developing the early symptoms.

Chickenpox varicella is quite a common illness which causes itchy rash and red spots or blisters on your body. The disease is mostly common in children.

People tend to get chickenpox at some point in their lives if they had not taken the chickenpox vaccine earlier, and therefore it is quite common. For a pregnant woman, chicken pox could cause real problem, also for newborns, teens and adults. Those who have weak immune system tend to have a hard time in fighting the infection. When you get chickenpox you don’t tend to fall seriously ill, that is to say it is not a very serious health problem and can be dealt with aptly. However, one with chickenpox needs to stay at home, and avoid contact with people.


The Onset of Chicken Pox

Once a person comes in contact with an infected person, the first symptoms seem to develop. People complain of feeling sick, and running a temperature. They also have a decreased appetite, headache, cough and sore throat.

Children at times tend to get the rash without actually having the early symptoms of chickenpox. Those babies who are 6 months old and younger could have some protection against it from the antibodies that are passed on by the child’s mother. In case of an infection they may not have too many symptoms. Also, as we have mentioned before, those who have a weak immune system may be the first ones to get the symptoms of chickenpox. The symptoms may show up before the usual 10 to 14 days after first contact.

Rash which we get from chicken pox happens to appear on the upper body one or two days after the first symptoms. You will find that trunk is usually the most effected, while the arms and legs are the least. You may also find the rash reaching your scalp, face, nose and the mouth. It has been found that in some cases the rash can spread to your eyelid lining too, even the cornea, inside the throat and the genital area.


The Complications

The most common complication is skin infection for children who are under the age of 5. Skin infection usually forms after the rash is scratched, so you should not scratch your rash. The bacteria from under the skin and under your fingernails get into a chickenpox blister. The infection needs to be treated before it gets serious. The blister can leave a scar.

It is found that certain people are at increased risk of certain more serious problems cropping up from chicken pox. This higher risk group is people with weak immune system, newborns, teenagers, adults and pregnant women.
Prognosis of Chicken Pox

In healthy children, chicken pox happens to be a mild infection, and the skin can easily return to its normal state within two or four weeks. You will at times find a few mild scars where the rash has been. By scratching the blisters you will leave more noticeable scars. In some cases chicken pox can have a more serious infection which could hospitalize you and cause long term disability, or in some unfortunate cases even death.

You become immune to the chickenpox virus once you have had it, the virus remains in your body. This virus can cause shingles which you get as an older adult.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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