How to Treat Chickenpox at Home

Four Methods:Treatment BasicsTreating Itchiness with Home RemediesTreating Blisters with Home RemediesRemoving Chicken Pox Scars at Home

If your child has chickenpox, he or she is probably a very unhappy camper. While chickenpox will generally clear up on their own without medication, there are different ways you can make your child more comfortable while his or her body fights the virus. In particular, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to keep your child comfortable, as well as natural remedies you can use to relieve itching, heal blisters, and get rid of chickenpox scars. Scroll down to Step 1 for more information.

Method 1
Treatment Basics

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    Keep your child home from school. When your child gets chickenpox, she can very easily pass it on to other children who have not yet had illness and have not gotten vaccinated against it. Because of this, it is very important to keep your child at home. It is also important that your child gets plenty of rest so that she can recover more quickly. Put on your child’s favorite movie and keep her on the couch or in bed if you can.[1]
    • Keep your child at home for at least five days once the first spots form.
    • You should also monitor the spots–once they dry out, your child can go back to school. This process might take longer than five days.
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    Stay hydrated. It is important to make sure that your child drinks plenty of liquids, particularly if she has a fever or is feeling ill. Drinking lots of water can flush out her system and help new cells to grow. Drinking lots of liquids can also help to keep her skin hydrated, which will reduce the amount of itchiness she feels and heal chickenpox scars.
    • Try to get your child to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
    • If your child does not want to drink plain water, you can give her fruit juices and other cool beverages.
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    Eat soft foods that are easily digestible. Sadly, chickenpox blisters can also form inside the throat. If this happens, you child will have a hard time swallowing. Because of this, you will need to feed your child soft foods that are easy on the throat and on the tummy. It is also important to feed your child easily-digestible food because digesting complex foods can take up the energy her body needs to heal itself. Soft foods include[2]:
    • Soups: classic chicken noodle soup can help soothe the throat, while carrot coriander soup is known to fight infection.
    • Ice cream, popsicles, and frozen yogurt.
    • Yogurt, pudding, and cottage cheese.
    • Soft bread.
    • Avoid spicy foods, as they can make the blisters feel worse.
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    Boost the immune system with vitamin C. Because chickenpox is a viral infection, strengthening your child’s immune system can help to fight the infection and speed up recovery. Vitamin C will help your child’s body attack the virus and kill it. Make sure that you child is getting enough vitamin C by giving her foods like[3]:
    • Citrus like oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines.
    • Other fruits like kiwis, strawberries, and papaya.
    • Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale.
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    Drink soothing herbal tea. Herbal teas can help to soothe any throat blisters that have formed. They can also help your child to fall asleep despite being in great discomfort, and will help to keep her hydrated. Make sure to cool the tea down a bit before giving it to your child or else she may burn herself. You can also add honey, which will give the tea some taste and speed up your child’s recovery. Good teas to give your child include:
    • Chamomile tea.
    • Peppermint tea.
    • Holy basil tea.
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    Have your child take cold showers. Taking cold showers can help to soothe your child’s itchy skin while also making her more comfortable if she is feeling ill. You can also run a warm shower or bath for your child if she doesn’t like the cold water.[4]
    • However, do not let your child take hot showers, as exposure to hot water can dry out her skin and make the itchiness caused by chickenpox worse.
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    Keep your child’s nails short to avoid breaking the skin. While this might sound odd, it is important to cut your child’s nails so that she cannot do damage to the blisters if she scratches them. While she should be kept from scratching the blisters as much as possible, cutting her nails will ensure that she does not break them open. When blisters get scratched open, they are much more likely to become infected.[5]
    • If your infant gets chickenpox, put mittens on him or her to keep from scratching at the blisters.
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    Rub ice cubes on the itchy spots. If your child is in serious discomfort, you can rub ice cubes on the itchy blisters to bring her some relief. The ice helps to numb the area so that the swelling and itchiness subside.
    • Gently massage the itchy area with ice cube for about 10 minutes.
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    Rub calamine lotion on the skin. Calamine lotion is a salve that you can put on your child’s blisters. It is a good idea to have your child take a bath before putting the lotion on. The lotion has a cooling effect that can make the blisters much more tolerable and will help your child get to sleep at night.[6]
    • Put a little dollop of the lotion on each of her blisters and rub it in gently.
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    Take acetaminophen to ease the pain of chicken pox. Acetaminophen is a painkiller and fever reducer. It can temporary increase relieve your child of the uncomfortable side effects that go along with chickenpox, like fever and lack of appetite. However, you should always consult your doctor before giving your child any medication.
    • The oral dose for a child is based on the child's age and weight. If the child is less that 12 years old the dosing is 10-15 mg/kg every 6-8 hours not to exceed 2.6g/day or 5 doses.[7]
    • If the child is 12 years of age or older the dosing is 40-60mg/kg/day every 6 hours not to exceed 3.75g/day or 5 doses.[8]
    • You can also give your child ibuprofen but never give your child aspirin.
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    Try taking antihistamines to relieve itchiness. The blisters and rash from chickenpox may cause your child some serious discomfort. Over-the-counter antihistamines can help to relieve the itching by reducing the swelling in the blisters. Again, talk to your doctor before giving your child antihistamines. Some common over-the-counter antihistamines include[9]:
    • Benadryl.
    • Allegra.
    • Claritin.
    • Zyrtec.
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    Use medicated Acyclovir cream. Another medication that can be used to treat chickenpox is acyclovir (brand name Zovirax). This is an antiviral medication that slows the spread of the virus and lessens the symptoms, like blisters and rash, of chickenpox. Treatment generally starts within 24 to 48 hours of when the rash appears. You will need to get a prescription for this medication from your child’s doctor. Acyclovir is also available as a cream.[10]However, this medication is generally not recommended for healthy children.
    • For children 2 years of age and older 20 mg/kg/dose orally 4 times a day or 80mg/kg/day for 5 days.
    • Children over 40 kg should be given the adult dose of 800 mg 4 times a day for 5 days.

Method 2
Treating Itchiness with Home Remedies

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    Apply honey to the blisters. The antibacterial properties and the sugar content of honey will help to reduce the itchiness your child feels because of her blisters, while also speeding up your child’s recover. Honey helps to hydrate the skin, which will relieve the irritation the blisters cause.
    • Wash your hands with warm water and soap. Use your finger to apply honey on to each of the itchy blisters three times a day.
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    Take an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal can soothe your child’s itchy skin. The protein, fats and sugar content in oatmeal help to protect and hydrate the skin so that the blisters become easier to deal with. If you do not have oatmeal, you can also use cornstarch has it has a very similar effect.[11] To make an oatmeal bath:
    • Grind two cups of plain oatmeal into a fine dust using a blender or food processor. While this is not necessary, it does help the bathwater absorb the oatmeal when you make an oatmeal bath.
    • Run a warm bath and pour the oatmeal in. Stir and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes or so.
    • Let your child soak in the bath for 20 to 30 minutes. Help your child to towel off after the bath.
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    Soak in a baking soda bath. Baking soda is a natural acid neutralizer, which means that it can help to soothe your child’s itchy skin. It does this by restoring the natural pH of your child’s skin. The chickenpox virus can throw off this pH.[12] To make a baking soda bath:
    • Draw a warm bath and then dissolve a cup of baking soda in the warm water. Stir the mixture together and then let your child soak in the bath for 15 or so minutes. Help your child to towel dry.
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    Make a bath using different herbs. Turmeric and ginger are both antibacterial herbs that can help to keep your child’s blisters bacteria free. When chickenpox blisters get infected, they become even more itchy. Both of these herbs can also help your child’s skin to heal once the virus has been treated.
    • Turmeric: You can add three teaspoons of turmeric to your child’s warm bath. This will help to soothe your child’s blisters.
    • Ginger: Have your child drink ginger tea. You can also add three teaspoons of dried ginger to your child’s warm bath to help your child’s skin to heal.
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    Try a green pea paste. Cooked green peas contain vitamins K and B, protein, zinc, magnesium, and potassium, among other essential vitamins and minerals. While the vitamins and protein promote skin health, zinc aids in the regeneration of skin, which can keep your child from having serious chickenpox scars. To make a green pea paste[13]:
    • Crush 200 grams of boiled green peas and make a paste. Apply it on the blisters and leave it for one hour. Wash the paste off with warm water.
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    Use neem leaves. The molecules produced by neem leaves aid in soothing different skin conditions, including itchiness caused by chickenpox. The leaves have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Neem leaves also help to purify the blood and detoxify your intestines so that your child’s body can properly fight the chickenpox virus. To use neem leaves[14]:
    • Method 1: Take a bunch of neem leaves and grind them to make a paste. Apply the paste on the blisters.
    • Method 2:You can also add a handful of neem leaves to boiling water and boil the leaves for several minutes. Allow the water to cool and use a washcloth to rub the water on your child’s skin.

Method 3
Treating Blisters with Home Remedies

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    Apply aloe vera gel to the blisters. Aloe vera has long been known to rejuvenate the skin and clear up infections. When your child has chickenpox blisters, aloe vera can help to keep the blisters from becoming infected, while also speeding up the healing process. It also helps to speed up your child’s skin cell growth, which means that she is less likely to have chickenpox scars.[15] To apply aloe vera gel:
    • Wash your hands with warm water and soap. Use a finger to apply a pea-sized drop of aloe vera gel on each of the blisters.
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    Rub sandalwood oil on the chicken pox spots. Sandalwood oil has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help to constrict your child’s skin pores, which can help relieve irritation while also speeding up the healing of the blisters. To use sandalwood oil:
    • Soak a cotton ball in the oil. Gently apply it directly to each of the blisters.
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    Use vitamin E oil to help treat the blisters. Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant that promotes skin health. When applied to your child’s skin, it will help to fight bacteria that could make the blisters become infected. It can also help to heal the blisters faster and will keep marks from forming once the blisters are gone. To use vitamin E oil:
    • Rub it on each of your child’s blisters once a day.
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    Add brown vinegar to a bath. The acidic content in vinegar helps to destroy harmful bacteria. You can run a warm bath for your child and then add ½ cup of brown vinegar to speed up the healing process of the blisters and keep them from becoming infected.
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    Apply tea tree oil to your blisters. Like many of the other natural products listed in this section, tea tree oil fights bacteria. It also has antiseptic properties, which means that it can make your child’s blisters close up and heal more quickly. However, tea tree oil can cause skin irritation so it is important to dilute it with another oil before applying it to your child’s skin.[16] To do this:
    • Mix about 50 ml of a base oil (jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil) with 15 drops of tea tree oil.
    • Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it to each individual blister.

Method 4
Removing Chicken Pox Scars at Home

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    Rub coconut water on your child’s scars. Coconut is one of the most hydrating liquids available.[17] Hydrating your child’s skin can help the scars to become less red and eventually disappear. To use coconut water:
    • Soak a washcloth in coconut water and then rub it on your child’s skin five or six times a day.
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    Apply lemon juice to the chicken pox marks. Lemon juice can make skin brighter and healthier looking. This means that it can remove red spots left over by the chickenpox virus. To use lemon juice to fade chickenpox scars:
    • Apply one drop of lemon juice on the scar. Make sure that the lemon juice only rests on the scar. Let the lemon juice dry. Wash the lemon juice off once it has dried.
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    Use a turmeric and neem leaf paste. Both turmeric and neem leaves have antiseptic properties that can help to heal and fade chickenpox scars. To make a turmeric and neem leaf paste:
    • Take ½ cup of turmeric and add them to ½ cup of neem leaves. Make a paste by crushing the two ingredients together. Apply the paste on the skin.


  • If your child has a persistent fever, take him to the hospital.

Article Info

Categories: Home Remedies | Skin Conditions