My baby has a spotty red rash all over her chest. Could it be chicken pox?
It might be. Due to the fact that the majority of babies get antibodies versus the infection from their mom while in the womb, it’s unusual for a baby to come down with chicken pox during the first year. Those who do tend to have a mild case.
Chicken pox, also called varicella, normally causes an itchy rash that begins as small red bumps. These bumps quickly become clear, fluid-filled blisters on a pink base, which ultimately become dry brown crusts. New waves of blisters often spring up as the disease progresses.
The rash frequently appears first on the scalp, face, or trunk. It can then top the whole body. Children generally get between 250 and 500 blisters, although it’s possible to have just a few.
Your baby will most likely be tired and a little feverish. She might have an anorexia nervosa and, for a number of days prior to the rash appears, a mild cough or a runny nose. Chicken pox normally lasts 5 to 10 days.
Chickenpox is an infection brought on by the varicella-zoster virus. The majority of children have chickenpox at some stage. Most commonly, children get chickenpox prior to the age of 10. The immune system makes proteins called antibodies during the infection. These battle the infection and after that provide long-lasting security against it (immunity).
How did my baby get chicken pox?
Chicken pox is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which passes from individual to individual with remarkable ease. If your baby has actually been exposed to the chicken pox, it usually takes 14 to 16 days for the pustules to appear, although they can appear anytime in between ten and 21 days.
Individuals with chicken pox can pass the infection along by touching somebody after touching the blisters or coughing or sneezing onto their hand, or by releasing it into the air whenever they sneeze, cough, or even breathe. The virus can also spread from direct contact with the fluid from the blisters prior to they crust over.
Is chicken pox harmful?
For healthy babies, chicken pox is usually more of a problem than a real threat. On rare occasions, however, even healthy children can establish severe complications from chicken pox, like a bacterial skin infection, pneumonia, or sleeping sickness, a swelling of the brain.
If your child has chicken pox, call the doctor if she seems sicker than anticipated, if she establishes a fever after the first couple of days, if the rash infects her eyes, or if the skin around the pox ends up being swollen, painful, or extremely red.
If your child has a weakened body immune system from a chronic disease such as leukemia or from taking high-dose oral steroids (for asthma, for example), the infection can cause grave complications. Some unique protective procedures, such as an injection of varicella zoster immune globulin or the varicella vaccine, can only work shortly after direct exposure. If your baby’s body immune system is compromised, call her doctor at the first sign of chicken pox– and even if she’s only been exposed to somebody who’s sick.
Grownups who come down with chicken pox can get really sick and are at risk for such complications as bacterial pneumonia. If you’re pregnant and have actually never ever had chicken pox, read our post on chicken pox during pregnancy and ask your doctor what safety measures you should take and what to do if you have actually been exposed.
What are shingles?
The exact same infection that causes chicken pox can cause a painful rash called shingles. When a child has chicken pox, the infection remains in the body and can reappear as shingles many years later on. This happens to about 1 in 10 adults who had chicken pox earlier in life.
Exists any way to prevent chicken pox?
Yes. A vaccine has been available given that 1995, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that a lot of children receive the chance at 12 to 15 months of age, with a second dose at 4 to 6 years.
The vaccine causes few side effects in healthy children and keeps more than 95 percent from getting a severe case of chicken pox. The shot isn’t really recommended if your child has had a severe allergic reaction to gelatin (yes, the things that makes Jell-O hold together), the antibiotic neomycin, or– when she’s older– a previous dosage of the vaccine.
If your baby has cancer or any disease that affects her immune system, has recently had a blood transfusion, or is taking high dosages of oral steroids, her doctor will carefully assess whether getting the vaccine would be a good idea.
See our short article on the chicken pox vaccine for additional information on the pros and cons of the shot.
How should I treat my baby’s chicken pox?
Keep your baby home from daycare until all the sores have crusted over to avoid her from spreading the disease and to provide her time to recover. Regrettably, children are most contagious the day or 2 prior to the rash erupts, usually prior to parents know their child is ill.
While your baby’s recuperating, the most comforting thing you can do is ease the itching. Give her a cool bath every 3 to four hours. Sprinkle baking soda or colloidal oatmeal (made specifically for the bath) into the water for added relief. (You can also use uncooked oats. Connect them in a cheesecloth bag and toss it in the tub.) After the bath, put calamine cream on the itchy spots.
It may appear like an impossible task, but aim to keep your baby from picking and scratching her sores, which can slow the recovery process. Sores that aren’t enabled to recover can leave scars or lead to skin infections such as impetigo. Keeping your baby’s nails short can help.
Lower your baby’s fever with the correct dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Never ever provide aspirin to your child as it can set off Reye’s syndrome, an unusual however potentially lethal condition.
If your baby appears really uncomfortable, you may ask her doctor about providing her an over-the-counter children’s antihistamine to assist decrease the itching.
Physicians can prescribe an antiviral drug called acyclovir to treat chicken pox, however it’s not typically suggested for otherwise healthy children. For children with weak body immune systems, however, acyclovir can be crucial.
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